New Zimbabwe.com

Millers rally behind Musarara as Wadyajena resumes fight with GMAZ boss

By Staff Reporter

THE fight between Lands parliamentary committee chair, Justice Mayor Wadyajena, and Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe chairman, Tafadzwa Musarara, continues Tuesday despite millers last week having rallied behind the later on how the US$27 million wheat facility extended to the association’s suppliers of the cereal by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe was used.

Wadyajena insists that Musarara should come in person to explain to him how the wheat which was paid for by RBZ to their (millers) suppliers was distributed.

RBZ, between 2017 and 2019, paid US$27 million to GMAZ’s wheat suppliers whose facility acquittals were published by the association in all national daily newspapers on 20 March 2019.

Musarara, after giving all the requested documentation on 19 March, 2019 to Wadyajena, wrote to the clerk of parliament complaining against Wadyajena’s conduct which he said was not professional.

Wadyajena had on his personal twitter account posted accusing Musarara of having abused the RBZ availed facility adding that GMAZ had failed to bring before him the requested documents despite the same having had been tabled before him.

Despite the impending response from parliament from Musarara’s request for Wadyajena to recuse himself from presiding over the hearing, at the weekend, Wadyajena sent the police to hunt for Musarara with subpoenas threatening the GMAZ boss to appear before his committee on Tuesday.

Last Thursday, Wadyajena invited the country’s three biggest milling companies, National Food, Blue Ribbon and Educate investments, which benefited from the said USD27 million RBZ wheat facility to explain if they indeed receive the wheat.

All the three companies confirmed that they did receive their wheat allocations without any discrepancies.

Responding to Wadyajena during the hearing, National Foods group chief executive officer, Mike Lashbrook said that relationship with GMAZ was helping millers in lobbying to get good terms from Government for their business.

“My understanding is that the facility (US$27million) was paid by RBZ to the supplier Holbud and us as GMAZ members we were entitled to pay the Zim dollar amount equivalent to the paid forex through GMAZ to the RBZ,” said Lashbrook.

Another miller, Anias Chiware, a top executive with Edurate investments said they received all that they paid for from GMAZ.

“GMAZ members including us as Edurate, we would deposit money into the GMAZ Exco-account, then upon the availability of forex RBZ would say this time around they are going to avail so much amount say USD10 million and at the same time GMAZ would be asked to match the US$10million on a one to one rate, and remember that this was still the era of multi-currency (2017-2019), then GMAZ would transfer that money to RBZ in RTGS to match the availed forex.

“The forex would then be paid directly to the supplier by RBZ, GMAZ was not receiving any money,” he said.

Bakhresa group of companies the new owners of Blue Ribbon Foods’ general manager, Yusuf Kamau, also told Wadyajena that the imported wheat was equitably distributed by the association to all wheat millers.

“We had several meetings as GMAZ members where we agreed that GMAZ as an association acquires the grain on behalf of all of us because our foreign suppliers had refused to supply us because we owe them.

“The imported grain was allocated to us by the whole GMAZ committee made up of all wheat millers themselves those are the ones who allocate the wheat, and the allocations were and are done in accordance with one’s milling capacity and we had no problems with that,” said Kamau.