TC pounce on Tobacco illegal vendors
By Our Reporter
TC equipped with the new Tobacco Industrial Act has started a manhunt of all people indulging in illegal Tobacco vending.
TC Chief Executive officer Chidanti Malunga says the exercise of flushing out illegal tobacco vending through enforcement unit is in line with the Tobacco Act.
For example on 18 January, 2021, while on joint patrol with the enforcement officers arrested four suspects at Nsamana Trading Center in Lilongwe, after the Police and the Tobacco Commission enforcement unit raided the place following a tip off from the community that some unknown persons were buying tobacco from farmers in the area.
The Mkukula Magistrate Court has since slapped four convicts with 20 months jail sentences each or a fine of K50,000 each after being found guilt of illegal tobacco vending.
Following Court proceedings that ensued , the four were found guilty of contravening sections 67 (1) and 69 (1) and Magistrate Mediasi from Mkukula Magistrates Court convicted the suspects and sentenced them accordingly.
Tobacco Commission has since expressed satisfaction with the way law enforcers and the courts handled the case. The Commission further commended the community members for being vigilant in making sure that growers benefit from their labour, by among by reporting illegal tobacco buyers.
The Commission is therefore appealing to tobacco growers to desist from selling their crop to any middlemen as the act is against the law.
The Commission will continue to monitor and intensify the enforcement. In order to report illegal acts to police, use the anonymous toll free number 2051.
The new Tobacco Industry Act was enacted by Parliament in February 2019.
Meanwhile Kanengo Police Publicist, Esther Mkwanda has has commended the general public for the tip offs.