While the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Dr. Joseph Made expressed satisfaction over progress made by Boka Investments in preparation of its return to the auction floors this season, the Zimbabwe Industry Tobacco Auction Centre, ZITAC, maintains that its lease agreement is still in force pending a High Court outcome.
There was drama at Boka Auction Floors as the Boka family clashed with a contractor who was tasked by ZITAC to erase Bokaâ€™s company logo and replace it with ZITACâ€™s logo while at the same time executive members of ZITAC were conducting a press conference in response to the legal battle which saw Boka being licensed to buy the golden leaf this season.
Adresssing journalists during the press conference, Mr. Caleb Dengu, a major shareholder of ZITAC said his organisation through the High Court has the right to operate at Boka without any interference,Â adding the Minister of Agricultureâ€™s announcement that Boka Investments has been licensed was subjudice.
Chairman of the National Indeginisation and Empowerment Board, Cde David Chapfika appealed to the two parties to resolve the issue amicably so that they come up with a win-win situation in the best interest of farmers who are set to start delivering their crop next month.
Rudo Boka of Boka Investments who barred a contractor tasked by ZITAC to put up the companyâ€™s logo said the statement by ZITAC shareholders will not deter them from preparations to trade this season.
The unfolding drama between Boka and ZITAC has in the past affected farmers who said they were being shortchanged by ZITACâ€™s poor administration which they claimed cost them millions of dollars.
While ZITAC claims that it has the legal basis to stay at Boka until the lease agreement expires in 2016, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) as an arbitrator of the legal battle has already taken a decision to grant Boka a license to trade and Minister Made has maintained that Boka will come in as the new buyer of tobacco this season.