Police have warned tobacco farmers to be wary of thieves operating at the auction floors in Harare. The tobacco marketing season started on Wednesday last week and thousands of farmers will over the coming weeks converge at the auction floors.Police assistant spokesperson for Harare province Assistant Inspector Tarirai Dube said they had deployed officers at the auction floors and encouraged farmers to approach them if they noticed anything unusual going on.
“We have had incidents where farmers are duped by unscrupulous dealers at the floors who condemn their tobacco and offer to buy it at lower prices and then resell it to the auctioneers at a profit,” Asst Insp Dube said.
Asst Insp Dube advised farmers to sell their tobacco to official buyers only to avoid being shortchanged. Tobacco farmers have over the years been targeted by criminals at the auction floors who dupe them of their valuable crop and cash.
Other farmers have in the past fallen prey to commercial sex workers who steal their money after engaging their services.