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    Saturday, 10 September 2016

    Sugarcane farmers take NSSA to court over garnish order


    – Zimbabwe Sugarcane Development Association (ZSDA) Chairman Edmore Veterai has said the garnishee orders being instituted against farmers by statutory bodies were so unreasonable that they were destroying the economy by throwing the productive sector out of business.
    He said the sugar industry was dying slowly and one of the factors was the 'ridiculous' garnishees that were not only stripping farmers of all capital but frustrating and throwing them out of business.
    He said some farmers had lost as much $33 000 through garnishes and this was almost their total toil for a whole year.
    He said ZSDA has been forced to take the National Social Security Authority to court to fight such garnishees.
    "The net effect of the garnishes by statutory bodies is not seen today. The effect is gradual and you can see its effects slowly but definitely taking a strong negative impact on the economy.
    "The immediate impact of the garnishee is that workers and creditors are not paid and then workers are laid off and the farmer reduces hectarage and ultimately is out of business.
    The Statutory bodies are killing the goose that lays the golden egg and it is obvious that the tax revenue base is being lost but it seems that no one cares because all that these bodies want is to maximize their earnings in spite of all other consequences," said Veterai.
    He said that NSSA would come into the field on any other day and count the number of people that they see there and enter them in their records as the farmer's workers.
    "Some workers just come in to work for a day and they leave and then NSSA tax us for such. It is abnormal and they are milking farmers when they themselves are not productive. We have taken them to the High Court for this unprofessional, unethical and illogical behavior," said Veterai.
    He also accused of top managers in these Statutory bodies of corruption and said that the hard-earned cash collected by NSSA was being used to feed corrupt managers.
    He said his organization used to have similar problems with ZINWA but they took the organization to court and things have normalized.
    He also said the relationship of his association with ZIMRA has improved.
     "Land reform was meant to empower blacks but if one`s account is garnished for $33000 do you expect that farmer to come back to the field next year. Everyone is wielding his axe on farmers and if we overreact we will be violent," said Veterai.business news
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