Continental tobacco company begins paying Hoima farmers' arrears.
Continental Tobacco Company limited has finally bowed to pressure from Farmers and has started paying all outstanding arrears.
The tobacco company has been in the spotlight, for failing to pay farmers since July last year.
The aggrieved farmers have since raided the tobacco company offices in Kiryatete and that of the Hoima RDC demanding for their pay.
Last week, the Hoima Deputy RDC Abdul Swamad Wantimba gave the tobacco company an ultimatum of March 25 to have paid the farmers fully. This ultimatums was however not honoured and instead the company requested for a grace period of up to March 31.
Samuel Sumuni, the company area manager Hoima, says although the money had been deposited on the company’s account, it had not matured.
Payment was effected at Kitoba tobacco market in Kitoba Sub County. Sumuni says payments would continue with other market centers until all the farmers have been covered.
Farmers from the markets of Kitoba, Kabwoya, Butema and Kigorobya had their payments pending.
According to Sumuni the company has however managed to raise 150 million shillings of the 320 million shillings needed to clear farmers in Hoima. He Says the remaining amount will be cleared soon.
Hoima Deputy RDC who had on Thursday repeated his earlier stand to institute legal action against the company upon failure to pay farmers has welcomed the move to clear farmers.
He asked that the remaining amount be cleared soon to enable farmers afford basic necessities.
The payment comes as relief to farmers who have since cursed the company for delaying their pay yet they have children to cater for in school.
Tobacco companies in Hoima have been in the spotlight for cheating farmers and exploiting workers. In September last year two people were shot dead during a BAT workers strike at Kibati in Hoima Municipality.
The workers were striking over non payment of their wages.