By Azania Post Reporter
BUMBULI councilors in Lushoto district Tanga region have appealed to government to re-open the Mponde tea factory to enable farmers sell the products hence improve livelihood.
Speaking to Azania Post in a exclusive interview a special seat councilor identified as Tausi Athuman said since the plant was handed over to the government a year ago did not start operation.
It is estimated a total of shillings 4 billion is needed to be invested to make the factory start operations.
She urged the government to invest money in the factory which plays a crucial role to tea farmers in the district.
“Many tea farmers living around here depend on this factory , now do not have any place to send their products ,we asked the government to inject money for the factory to start operation,” she said.
The government officially took over the factory at an event organized by the Treasury Registrar and witnessed by various tea stakeholders including the investor on January 29, 2016 one a half year after the farmers stopped delivering green tea leaves to the factory.
There were doubting Thomases when the struggle began and developed, but for Swahiba Mbilu, a tea farmer of the Mponde Tea scheme and mother of two, January 29, was special day.
Swahiba, who was also an employee at the Mponde Tea Factory said she had been living under very difficult conditions and one of her daughters, Zawadi was forced to drop from Dodoma Business College because of lack of funds to pay for fees and upkeep.
The event finalizes the government's decision announced a year ago by CCM Secretary General, Abdulrahman Kinana to retake the factory, ending the conflict which has been persistent for 15 years.