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  • Tanzania: Cashews Saga Opens Can of Worms Govt Suspends All Auctions, Recalls Cbt Boss Over Incompetence

    Oct 27th, 2018

    All is not well at the Ministry of Agriculture. And this time, President John Magufuli has expressed dissatisfaction over the ministry's shoddy handling of cashewnut auctioning this season. Speaking on behalf of President Magufuli, during a meeting with regional commissioners from cashewnut growing regions, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said that the ministry should assess its performance over the saga. "The President wants the Ministry of Agriculture and the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) to evaluate their performance following the ongoing cashewnut saga," the PM said. The Premier directed the Ministry to recall the CBT Acting Director Prof Wakuru Magigi due to his poor performance

    violated government directives in managing the entire cashewnut system, thus leading to auctions obstruction," he said. He added that following such situation, the government has suspended all cashew auctions in the country effectively yesterday and called upon farmers to remain calm as it works on the matter. "People have been complaining about the CBT boss for working without involving cashewnut cooperative unions and failure to respect entrusted authorities such as Regional Commissioners," he said.

    He noted that apart from such complaints, the CBT executive has been blamed for conducting operations against cooperative leaders contrary to the country's arrangements. However, Premier Majaliwa directed Lindi and Mtwara Regional Police Commanders to search for vehicle with registration number T 814 DDM and its driver. He said the vehicle is said to have been used in the operation to arrest cooperative leaders who were defending farmers who boycotted to sell their cashewnuts due to low prices.

    Mr Majaliwa said that upon arrest, the driver should be interrogated and provide details on where the armed police officers involved in the operation were coming from and who assigned them the task. He also directed all the police officers who took part in the saga to be arrested. "CBT boss has been threatening and forcing farmers and cooperative leaders to sell their cashewnut at low prices an act that is unacceptable to the government," he insisted. The Premier further said that the government cannot remain silent over the matter since it has been tarnishing its image because the CBT leader was dispatching police officers to the regions without informing the respective regional authorities.

    He also directed the Ministry to report such challenges earlier whenever they emerge instead of remaining silent, "These issues are emerging and still the ministry is just silent," Premier said.

    In another development, President Magufuli has commended cashewnut growers for the stance to boycott auctions of their produce due to low prices. PM Majaliwa said that President Magufuli was aware of some government executives who abuse his name vowing to take measures against them. Earlier, Mtwara Regional Commissioner Gelasius Byakanwa and Lindi Regional Commissioner Godfrey Z ambi complained over Prof Magigi's acts to disrupt the entire cashewnut system. They said that despite advising him on proper management of cashew auctions he ignored them