Malawian tobacco buyers deported
The President of Malawi, Bingu wa Mutharika, has demonstrated his firm stance against the exploitation of the country’s tobacco farmers by deporting four senior foreign tobacco buyers for ignoring the minimum price imposed on burley and flue-cured tobacco, the country’s leading exports.
The decision to expel the four expatriates, who worked for three of the country’s leading tobacco buying companies, comes only months after Mr Muthrika’s attack on the major buyers’ resistance to pay the minimum price, deemed ‘unrealistic’ in the current economic climate.
In a statement, the president, who also acts as Malawi’s agricultural minister, claimed that the deported buyers had been deliberately trying to compromise his government’s drive to improve the welfare of his people in an industry that is believed to directly or indirectly employ over 80% of the population.
He went on to appeal to his government for cooperation and used the deportation order as a warning to other tobacco buyers who might fail to adhere to the minimum price regulations.