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TANZANIAN maize traders that bought maize from the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) but failed to export the maize after Government refused to issue export permits have threatened to take legal action.

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The traders said they had been demanding their refunds since November 2022, and that they should not be paid through Zambian local agents.

They indicated that they did not want Government to give them their refunds through the Zambian companies because they would lose out and would not trace their money.

“We paid K5, 000 per ton to the Zambian traders where K4, 000 was for FRA and K1000 as commissions. But now Government is suggesting that we should only be refunded the K4, 000 which means that we are being asked to lose the K1, 000. Government should refund us all the money we spent in buying the maize or we will remain with no option but to sue the government,” representive said.

The traders stated that government needed to consider a number of aspects such as the exchange rate which had seen the Zambian currency depreciate considerable against other convertible currencies from the time they bought the maize.

They claimed that the government had kept their money for six months and that it did not generate any interest during the time the money was in the treasury.

The traders claim that their maize was however sold to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where it was fetching K6, 500 per bag and that government was trying to get that money to pay them off.

They claimed that they did not even want the money after analysing the circumstances and that they just wanted their maize because according to them, a refund would be a loss on their part.

The traders indicated that they had written a stop letter to the relevant authorities for them to stop processing refund for payments on maize bought from FRA because they would lose out since they were third parties.

They said they paid K15, 194, 000 for the purchase of 3798.50 metric tonnes of maize but that they had not gotten any feedback as the system was very bad.

The traders said there was foul play and that this was more like a mafia movement as maize was being sold in countries like Congo at a higher price while they were being tortured without receiving anything.


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