PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday dissolved the Tanzania Coffee Development Trust Fund (TCDF), saying it was not legally established. He ordered the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) to investigate the trust fund since its formation.
The Premier gave the directives in Dodoma when he met coffee stakeholders to discuss the development of the country's cash crop. He said the fund was established by some coffee stakeholders in collaboration with Tanzania Coffee Board (TCB).
"While the government is striving to reduce unnecessary deductions from farmers, there is a body that is swindling farmers' income. This is not acceptable," the PM said.
Mr Majaliwa ordered the closure of the CDTF offices to pave way for the CAG to carry out a thorough investigation, adding that the fund's activities will be placed under TCB.
He explained that CDTF's responsibilities, including monitoring the development of the commercial crop, are the same as those of TCB, saying there's no need to have two bodies doing the same works.
Meanwhile, the Premier banned traders who roam the villages, buying coffee, insisting that the cash crop will only be sold through auctions.
"Coffee will be sold through auctions only... no licences should be provided to traders to buy coffee in the villages... if there are people who have sent cash for that purpose should recall them as soon as possible," the PM cautioned.
He ordered Regional and District Commissioners to take legal actions against traders who will go against his directives, insisting "Anyone who wants coffee should go to buy from the auctions... the aim is to ensure farmers are benefiting.
" The PM also directed all growing coffee district councils to establish the crop nurseries which will enable farmers to get free plants.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister in President's Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG), Joseph Kakunda assured that all the PM's directives will be implemented accordingly and directed the RCs of the 16 coffee producing regions and their 52 districts to ban all permits given to coffee traders and remove it as their sources of income.