Millers pleads with Parly over US$43m debt

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Xolisani Ncube

The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has pleaded with Parliament to assist its members settle a US$43m owed to wheat suppliers for 2017-2018 period.

In letter penned by Tafadzwa Musarara after his recent appearance before the committee of Agriculture, Lands, Water and Rural Resettlement chaired by Justice Mayor Wadyajena, the GMAZ boss said grain millers owe international suppliers USD$43m.

“We humbly submit that the portfolio committee hearing meeting held on 25 February 2020 did not adequately afford us time to elucidate a number of key issues that are necessary to assist the parliamentary portfolio committee to come up with an informed decision,” Musarara wrote to Parliament.

The GMAZ head said his organization did not abuse any foreign currency availed to members for wheat procurement.

“This wheat purchasing structure was completely above board and most certainly in the national interest. In fact, it has saved the country from unprecedented bread shortage that could have degenerated into food riots,” Musarara said.

“We would appreciate if this esteemed committee could assist us in the payment of our foreign debts of individual millers for wheat supplied three years ago.

“Currently an amount of USD$43 million is still owed to foreign wheat suppliers for wheat supplied in 2017-2018,” Musarara said.

The GMAZ team appeared before the Justice Wadyajena-chaired committee and had a torrid time trying to explain how the funds they received from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe were used.

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