Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

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Sugarcane farmers drag minister Bimha to court

Sugarcane farmers drag minister Bimha to court
 Minister Mike Bimha

Minister Mike Bimha

George Maponga in Masvingo

Nearly 1 000 indigenous sugarcane farmers in the Lowveld have taken Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha to the High Court seeking an order for him to reverse an arbitrary increase in cane milling charges.The farmers argue that the increase in the charges threaten the viability of beneficiaries of Government’s Land Reform Programme and will eventually force them off the land.

The cane farmers, through their five associations, want Minister Bimha to reverse his directive to Lowveld sugar cane millers — Triangle and Hippo Valley — that allows them to hike milling charges by almost six percent.

Minister Bimha’s directive allows Tongaat Hulett (majority owner of Triangle and Hippo Valley sugarcane mills) to increase milling charges by the six percent back-dated to 2014. In an urgent chamber application for an interdict made at the Masvingo High Court recently, the farmers cited Minister Bimha as the first respondent, with Triangle Limited and Hippo Valley estates listed as second and third respondents respectively.

The farmers want Minister Bimha to reverse the Distribution of Proceeds (DOP) to the original interim 82,65 percent for cane farmers and 17,35 percent for Triangle and Hippo Valley.

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