Informal traders suffer as farmers hold on to their cotton

DOUBLE BLOW . . . Uneconomic prices being offered by cotton buyers have hit farmers and informal traders who depend on them

DOUBLE BLOW . . . Uneconomic prices being offered by cotton buyers have hit farmers and informal traders who depend on them
Informal traders are increasingly becoming nomadic.
Many traders from Harare move from one place to another across the country selling their wares.
At Mutora, a dusty business centre located in Gokwe North, a few people look busy.

Farmers in the nearby fields are seen harvesting their cotton while a few others are seen taking their produce to the nearest selling point.
Far from the growth point, some enterprising individuals from as far as Harare are already waiting for their kill as they are seen setting up makeshift stores.

The more serious ones are renting underutilised premises at key selling points where electrical goods such as radio sets, multi-purpose DVD players, clothes, baby wear, solar panels are sold. The situation replicates itself at Chitekete and Gokwe Centre, the major cotton trading centres.

June usually marks an exciting month for everyone when the sale of cotton gathers pace, but this year, like in recent times, the picture is different, gloomy even.
Over the years, the number of cotton farmers has been slowly declining, and so are the numbers of young people employed by the cotton ginners, a situation that has rendered many households vulnerable.

Many are still holding on to their produce this season protesting the gazetted price and at the same time, as a tactic for negotiating a better selling price.
Nimrod Maphosa, a Harare-based trader, was yet to realise any sales at the time The Herald visited his makeshift store which specializes in electrical goods and clothing.

“I have been here for more than a week and I have not sold anything. The season is just different from many others. Although the price was not so attractive, 2013 was much better.

“Farmers expected a better price this season hence the idea of holding on to their produce. I cannot leave now, I have to wait and see if there will be any improvements.”

Gift Mdala added: “I sell electrical goods and clothes and very few are interested in buying them, at least for now. Those that have sold their produce prefer buying food and school uniforms. No one is into luxury goods yet.

“I have picked out that those that are selling produce are only doing so because of financial problems but they are not selling all they have, one or two bales maybe to meet their immediate needs. I am planning to bring a few food items from Harare to supplement what I have so far.”

 

Another trader, Godfrey Chikwaya, reckons this year might be worse.
“Farmers enjoyed a better price in 2011 as a kilogramme of cotton was selling for US$1. Since then, there has been disgruntlement from farmers as prices fall to unexpected levels. Over the years, we have been enjoying business as farmers would bring their produce, although under protest.

“This year is different because farmers are holding on to their produce and we never expected that. Our goods are not selling as fast as we expected. I have been making a living out of this since 2006.

“We have been bringing convenience to the farmer who would avoid getting into towns to make purchases. Everything they want we provide at competitive prices,” he said.

Nomsa Ncube has been selling wares to farmers since 2008.
“I have supported my children and they never missed school due to unpaid fees,” she said.

“At the moment we do not know what is going to happen between the Government, farmers and the buyers. We are only here to provide the much needed basics which most of them struggle to access.

“As you have seen, the roads here are so bad and very few business people want to come and set bases at the periphery. Our nature of business is appreciated by many who benefit from our services. Even though it is difficult to get here, every year farmers encourage us to come back.”

Several traders are caught in between, with a number of them yet to make a decision either to go back or stay until the pricing issue is resolved.
“It is very difficult for me to say. At times I tell myself that I will be going back to Gweru the following day but it is the hope of a better day that keeps me waiting. A lot of rumours are told, we hear of a possible increase in the kilogramme price of cotton.

“If I go back I will not be able to come back because it will be very expensive to do so. The best alternative will be to sell for a small profit to recover costs but that is only possible when farmers bring their produce for sell, otherwise we are hopeless for now”, said Ruvimbo Moyo, a trader from Gweru.

The “oldest profession” is suffering too.
Booking houses used to be flush with clients during this time, day and night.
“Business is not looking good this time around but hopefully it will improve when the pricing issue is resolved,” said one owner of a lodge.

Equally affected are the young people from Gokwe who are usually employed by the cotton ginners.
Gift Mdala, an extension officer with Olam, operating at an area called Madhamu in Gokwe, pointed out that farmers were still holding on to their produce in anticipation of an increase in the selling price.

“Farmers are still holding on to their produce. By this time last year, we were already at our selling peak. There has been speculation that the price could be increased to US0,65 cents but it still remains a rumour. As you can see, we are just here waiting for a few farmers who are bringing in their produce.”

Uncertainty hangs over the marketing of cotton in the country as farmers, most of them from the rural areas, are feeling hard done by the pricing regimes that are being controlled by buyers.

Traditionally, farmers unions would negotiate for a producer price on behalf of the farmers but cotton buyers recently approached the courts to bar the unions from negotiating the prices.

The buyers argued that they should be allowed to negotiate with individual farmers.
The courts acceded to the demand, leaving poor rural farmers at the mercy of buyers.

To further complicate matters for the farmers, buyers have formed cartels and contractors bar farmers from side marketing.
The only resort of the farmers is to hold on to their crop, and pray for the better.

The stratagem has not been effective and farmers end up selling their crop, anyway, so as to make ends meet.

Farmers hit by hard times

Andrew Gasura bailing cotton in Chireya, Gokwe recently

Andrew Gasura bailing cotton in Chireya, Gokwe recently
Less than a decade ago cotton was the crop of choice for farmers in Gokwe. Not only did cotton thrive in the area, it had a ready market that brought the much needed cash to the people.  As such, cotton was then christened Zimbabwe’s white gold. It had ready cash. One only needed to sell a bale of cotton lint at the nearest shopping centre to get money enough to pay the miller or buy furniture and groceries and even marry several wives.

However, that has changed over the past half a decade.
Low prices have spelt doom for farmers in Gokwe as in all cotton growing regions of Zimbabwe.
Cotton prices continue to plummet, leaving most farmers regretting the decision to grow the crop.

Even the coming in of more cotton buying companies has not brought joy.
Instead prices continue to plummet.

Cotton has become a pale shadow of its former self. A kilogramme of cotton is fetching between US35 cents and US40 cents, depending on the buying company.

Even though last year’s minimum producer price was pegged at US53 cents, some companies ended up paying as much as US80 cents a kilogramme.

This year the situation seems bleak.
Prices have started low and there are no signs that they will hit the US80 cents recorded last year.

It seems the decision by the Competition and Tariff Commission directing cotton buyers to negotiate with individual farmers on cotton prices is backfiring as the latter have no capacity to negotiate with large companies.

This has delayed the commencement of the cotton selling season.
Previously, the Cotton Ginners’ Association would negotiate with farmer organisations for the producer price.
Worst hit are contract farmers.

The effects of the poor producer prices on the only source of income for the area are evident. Shops that were always fully stocked in the past are closing down.

Children are also dropping out of school as parents fail to pay fees.
Construction programmes have stalled and workers that were employed in the once vibrant cotton sector have lost employment.
Even beerhalls that used to fill up this time of the year are empty. No one knows what the future has in store for them. Farmers say it is not viable to grow cotton anymore but there are few alternatives given that it is the only the crop that does well in the dry but fertile lands of Gokwe, Sanyati and Kadoma.

Those in the Gokwe Sesame area are complaining, too.
Chirovamavi Village head, Mr Colliart Chirovamavi, said low prices had made growing cotton unattractive.
He said he was planning to abandon growing cotton for other crops as all their hopes of increases in the producer prices were fading.

“I used to produce between five and six hectares of cotton annually, but have been reducing the hectarage since 2012.
“In 2011 /2, I thought the situation would improve and did five hectares of the crop.

“When prices did not improve, I reduced them to three in the 2012 /3 season and last year I only had one. I am strongly contemplating stopping if the prices do not increase.

“Life is hard this side. I had a shop in Chireya but I have since closed it. People no longer buy basic commodities like sugar and salt. Cotton is not paying and shops are stuck with stocks.

“I could not even pay the shopkeeper hence I closed the shop.
“Farmers in the area have moved to growing maize and sweet potatoes. As you know maize is not paying and is actually being sold to private buyers at US$2 a bucket.

“Our only alternative has been sweet potatoes that are fetching about US$5 for a 20-litre bucket. That is better money. Some have ventured into tobacco and have realised better rewards than growing cotton,” said Sabhuku Chirovamavi.

The area is yearning for Government intervention. The large billboard at Gokwe Centre announcing that one is entering a cotton zone is no longer significant for the local folk.

The low producer prices have meant housing construction has stalled.
Even the Cottco ginnery that used to provide employment has gone quiet, save for occasional rumble of tractors bringing a bale or two at long intervals.

Marsmery involved in a an accident along Kwekwe road

A wreckage of the coach after an accident

A wreckage of the coach after an accident

GOKWE -A Gokwe bound Marsmery Coaches was  involved in a collision with a haulage truck at a 60km peg along Gokwe -Kwekwe road yesterday,a report says.The bus coming from South Africa on it’s way to Gokwe.Information about what caused the accident is still sketch.Marsmery is one of the companies which started running the Joburg-Gokwe route 5 years ago.It is one of the popular companies in Gokwe.

We will give you more information about this accident as we get it.

 

Nembudzia MP shower praises on his President and donated to Kadzidirire Primary School

PRESIDENT Mugabe is the only rightful leader to be nominated ahead of the ruling party’s elective congress after steering Zanu-PF to crushing victory in last year’s harmonised elections, a Zanu-PF legislator has said.

Zanu-PF is set to hold its elective Congress in December.

Gokwe Nembudziya National Assembly member, Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena, said President Mugabe was the only person who could take the revolutionary party and the country forward.

He made the remarks while addressing members of his constituency in Ward 15 at his victory celebrations.

“Now we are looking forward to the Congress scheduled for December,” he said.

“We should make wise decisions just like we did last year.

“If you are sleeping and you start to dream of a different leader who is not President Mugabe, you should wake up from that nightmare.

“But if you continue to have President Mugabe in your dreams, then you should never wake up from your sleep because he is the only leader for Zimbabwe.

“So, for Congress, there is no one who will take that position except President Robert Mugabe.”

Cde Wadyajena called for political unity among the people which he said was good for the country’s development.

“The 2013 elections are now over and we voted wisely,” he said.

“Now we should take this opportunity to build the party, Zanu-PF, in preparation for the 2018 national elections.

“No one belongs to any individual, but we all now belong to one party which is led by the President Cde Mugabe and it is only through working together that our country will prosper.”

Cde Wadyajena said it was Zanu-PF that had remained intact despite the massive political fighting in the country.

He donated stationery and furniture worth thousands of dollars to Kadzidirire Primary School in fulfilment of promises he made before last year’s elections.

“This is just the beginning of the development programmes planned by Government in the Zim-Asset economic blueprint,” he said.

Cde Wadyajena urged the people to work collectively with Government and support its economic programmes which are expected to direct the country towards development.

Full list of new South African immigration regulations

Immigration lawyers for South African immigration

Immigration lawyers are now your best bet.

The new laws and regulations governing those entering the country have not changed the entire South Africa immigration landscape, however in their execution by the Department of Home Affairs, they have caused confusion and sometimes havoc for both private person and the business sector alike.

 

Here is a list of all the new South African immigration regulations, as signed into the government gazette less than one month ago and formally in effect since the 26th of May 2014.

Before delving into the list and the changes at length, bear in mind the following:

  • Law and timelines: The Immigration Act, 13 of 2002 was amended by the Immigration Amendment Act, 13 of 2011. Finally, three years later, the Amendment Act (with its regulations) was promulgated on 22 May 2014, being published in the Government Gazette. The revised Immigration Regulations (the “Regulations”) also came into effect on 26 May 2014.
  • The laws are now better: While some of those reading this will argue this is not the case, and while improvements are always there to be made, the new laws and regulations are far improved in most aspects, especially when compared to global standards. It is the execution of these laws which is causing most of the stark issues and challenges faced by many immigrants currently.
  • Intentions of Home Affairs: The changes are not meant to hinder anyone except those who are undesirable (the legal word used for those not wanted in the Republic) and those trying to “play” with the immigration system. For example, people would enter SA on a visitor’s visa and quickly find a willing South African to be their “life partner”, thereby qualifying for a type of Relative’s Permit (permits now referred to as visas, with the exception of the Permanent Residence Permit). Immigration practitioners, as well, were well-known for charging fees without correctly providing services or providing them at all (even though some practitioners were in fact above board).
  • Tightening of the rules: Home Affairs is also clear in that they wish to make things much more difficult for those who are not wanted in SA. Previously the word on the street was: “Anyone can immigrate to SA” – that is definitely no longer the case.
  • Legal effect: The laws and regulations are in full force (some exceptions are mentioned below) and therefore private people and companies must make sure they are well-versed in the new setup so as to avoid often drastic inconveniences and even banning form the Republic of South Africa. Human Resources professionals especially must be aware of both the ways that employees could be in contravention of the news laws or regulations, as well as the new opportunities offered in employing foreign skills.

The point to reiterate is that while the laws are an improvement overall, the execution and timing could almost not have been worse. Any regulations signed in parliament and then effective only two working days later, allows no-one the chance to try and comply, and many unsuspecting people have fallen victim to horrible situations whereby they are now banned from South Africa, forced to leave jobs and houses and even spouses and children behind. The new Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, was sworn in only two days after his predecessor, Naledi Pandor, signed the new regulations into effect. These methods of implementation are the main cause for the cries of “unconstitutionality” and large-scale disappointment from various immigration lawyers across the country, including Immigration South Africa™.

Without further ado then, here is the full list of new South Africa immigration regulations and law changes. Any that seems to be missed out can be sent to us on info@immigrationsouthafrica.org and we will attempt to verify and include them.

The full list of SA immigration changes

Terminology

  • All permits are now called visas with the exception of the Permanent Residence Permit.
  • Also, the word spouse is now meant to encompass all types of permanent relationships, whether they be marriages, life partnerships and so on.
  • For a full list of terminology read the first few pages of the new regulations – you can download them at the bottom of this article.

Applying for a visa or permit

  • Applications to be made only through VFS in South Africa: No more applications will be made for visas and permits at a Department of Home Affairs office or embassy, at least not within our borders. While in Pretoria the last application under the old regulations was accepted on Friday, 30 May, Durban, Bloemfontein and George will still accept applications under the old regulations until 6 June, Johannesburg until 18 June, Cape Town on 20 June and Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Polokwane until 23 June. Most of the embassies abroad will still accept applications until 18 June.
  • Thereafter only the new regulations will apply and most of the applications will have to be submitted at the South African embassies and consulates abroad, while the meagre rest will have to be submitted to your local (SA) Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) center by appointment only. VFS is a global visa application facilitation company. Their fees are higher than Home Affairs and they will charge you R1,350 on top of the usual Home Affairs application fee, a benefit that solely goes to the shareholders of the private operating company. The tender for this was questioned in the media and dodged by the current Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba.

Being represented by an immigration service

  • The section regarding immigration application representative and power of attorney has been repealed – no-one is allowed to apply on anyone else’s behalf – meaning that the applicant must always be present. They are allowed a “skilled companion” to accompany them, however, and immigration lawyers can still accept power of attorney for most other things, just as attorneys always have been able to. This is one of the many reasons using an immigration lawyer is still the only way to go.

Immigration compliance

  • Under the new legislation, the maximum sentences for contraventions are significantly increased. Foreigners who overstay their visas will automatically become ‘undesirable persons’, and therefore ineligible for entry into, or status in or even the ability to apply for a visa to enter into, South Africa. For an overstay of 1 to 30 days the person will be declared undesirable for a period of 12 months, for a second overstay of 1 to 30 days within a 24 month period the person will be declared undesirable for a period of up to two years and for any overstay of more than 30 days the person will be declared undesirable for a period 5 years. Multiple transgressions can also affect the length of the prescribed ban.

Traveling in and out of South Africa on a visa

  • Expired permits and visas: Overstayers are no longer fined, but are declared undesirable. This is currently (June 2014) deeply controversial as several foreigners, having applied well within the time limit (60 days before expiry) have still not received their new visas or permits and been banned. Previously, foreign nationals waiting for a decision on their visa renewal – which can take months and often results in the expiry of existing documentation – could travel using a receipt from home affairs indicating their application was pending. This is no longer the case and anyone traveling on an expired permit could be declared “undesirable” and banned from returning to the country for up to five years. For example, recently a British national, who is married to a South African, was banned in May for 12 months for leaving South Africa while on an expired visa. She had been waiting for the outcome of her visa renewal application. The directive in place enforcing this is Directive 9, and Directive 43 was the repealed directive allowing travel on application receipts. The rumours currently are that Directive 9 will be withdrawn as there are standing court cases at the Western Cape High Court.
  • Children: A requirement that each child travel with his or her own passport. Parents traveling with children must present unabridged birth certificates. The new regulations introduce much stricter identification methods for traveling children in an effort to stop child trafficking by requiring the production of unabridged birth certificates in respect of any minor traveling to or from South Africa. South Africa is one of the only countries in the world to have this new requirement. Where a child is accompanied by only one parent, an affidavit of consent by the other parent must be produced. Again, the issue with this is not necessarily the law but the timing – almost no traveler in SA or abroad was aware of it. As a result, the Department of Home Affairs has issued a statement that it will only enforce this provision at the end of September 2014.

Expired Visa Entry denied for undesirable persons

  • Any foreigner, who attempts to depart the country after his or her Visa has expired will nolonger be fined, but declared “undesirable” in terms of section 27(3) for a period of between twelve months and five years depending on the time past since visa expiry and the number of previous transgressions in this regard. A submitted extension application and receipt thereof are not sufficient to prevent this measure! This practice is already in place at the South African airports!

Change of Permit

  • Applicants, who wish to apply for another type of permit and not for an extension will from now on have to submit their application (in person!) in their home country and need to await their issue before they can return. Excepted are only the family members of holders of Work and Business Permits, if they commence work or studies. This affects especially all holders of Tourist Visa as well as Intra-Company-Transfer Work Permits, which cannot be extended. Extensions of existing permits will now have to be applied for 60 days before expiry (previously 30 days), otherwise the applicant must submit his extension and await its outcome in his home country. Note: If an extension application is not finalised prior to expiry and the applicant is still in the country, he or she will become undesirable as per above upon departure, no matter how long Home Affairs takes to process the application.

Visitors Visas

  • Visitors, who receive their visitor visa at the border or port of entry, section 10, and who leave South Africa for a neighbouring country will only get the remainder of their original visa upon re-entry. If the visa has expired in the meantime they will not be issued with another 90 day visa, but only with a seven day visa. Visitors cannot apply for a new visa within South Africa, and must return to their country of origin to do so. Example: A tourist to South Africa finds work while in the Republic and must apply for a certain Work Visa – this must be done back in their country.
  • Work: Visitors Visas allow work for a foreign employer for a contract which requires the conducting of certain work activities in South Africa, including among others: spouses and dependents of work permit holders, teachers at international schools, entertainment industry professionals such as film and advertisement producers, including actors, cameramen, filmmakers, hairstylists, makeup artists, lighting and sound engineers, lecturers, foreign journalists, as well as artists who wish to write, paint and sculpt.

Study visa

  • Study visas will no longer be issued for language courses, practical training or other education but only for education/studies offered by any registered institution of higher education, college or school under the Schools Act. The study visa can now be issued for a period of up to eight years.

Relatives Visas

  • The main changes appear under the Spousal type of Relative Visas, previously known as the Life Partner Permit and the Spousal Permit. The new regulations speak of a spouse as someone in a “permanent relationship”, whether a marriage or another type of permanent union. Shared financial responsibility and cohabitation are still key proofs required, unless an unabridged marriage certificate is produced.
  • Accompanying Life Partner and Spousal visas: The regulations propose that the parties to a spousal relationship must have cohabited for a period of two years before they qualify to apply for a visa or permit. The foreign spouse of a temporary work visa holder who wants to work in South Africa can now work for a foreign employer pursuant to a contract that partially requires conducting of certain activities in South Africa. Spouses and life partners must be able to prove a relationship of at least two years when applying for a visa. Benefits for spouses and dependents are that, for example, accompanying family members can apply for: Temporary residence accompanying spouse visas, accompanying parent visas and study visas. This is in addition to spouses being able to forego the normal requirements to be able to conduct business, work or study in the Republic.

Business visa

  • While Home Affairs has not made a decision yet to increase the required investment capital from ZAR 2.5m (rumour has it, that it will be doubled to ZAR 5m or even hit 7m) the former requirement of five employment positions to be created has been replaced undertaking of 60% of the staff being permanent employed SA citizens or permanent residents within 12 months. The respective form requiring this to be part of the certificate of a chartered accountant is one of the many mistakes in the new application forms and can be ignored.
  • Further more the letter of recommendation, which was previously required only for certain industries and in case of a lower investment capital, will now have to accompany every application. This will increase cost and time frame for the preparation of the application and will also create certain unpredictability for such applications.

Work Visas:

  • There are now four main work visa types: a general work visa, an intra-company visa, commonly used by multinationals to rotate management around the world, a corporate visa, typically used to import specialised skills for large infrastructure projects as well as unskilled migrant labour, a critical skills visa, in which foreigners with designated skills sets will be able to enter SA regardless of an employment offer and visas for short-term contractors in the fields of entertainment, journalism and film production.
  • Under the new regulations applicants for general work visas will be required to obtain certification from the department of labour, stating among other things that their salary and benefits are commensurate with those paid to South African citizens in similar positions. The labour department would also have to take steps to confirm that the employer is registered with the Commission on Intellectual Property and Companies. How long this will take to process remains to be seen.
  • General Work Visa: While it is widely appreciated that this visa type still exists it will become even more tedious and will take much more time to apply for than before. The new regulations now require not only a SAQA evaluation for every applicant’s qualifications, even for those without qualifications. The Department of Labour is now required to issue a certificate confirming that despite a proper search, the applicant’s employer was unable to find a South African citizen or permanent resident with qualifications and skills or experience equivalent to those of the applicant. Such certificates in the past took up to six months to obtain. Also, the salary and qualifications of the applicant are taken into account, as well as checking that the employment contract adheres to labour law standards in SA. On the positive side: no repatriation deposits are payable anymore.
  • Exceptional Skills Work Permit/Visa: This permit does not exist anymore and has been replaced by the Critical Skills Visa.
  • Quota Work Permit/Visa: This permit does not exist anymore and has been replaced by the Critical Skills Visa.
  • Critical Skills Work Visa: This visa replaces both of the above mentioned work permits and is based on the General Work Visa with identical requirements, but requires in addition not only the confirmation of the applicant’s skills by the professional body of his or industry (no matter whether there is one or not), also proof of application for a certificate of registration with such body. There will no repatriation fees payable anymore, the permit can be issued for up to five years and is easily extendable subject to what was stated above. It continues to be free of binding to an employer as the previous Exceptional Skills Permit. The critical skills work visa list was published on 3 June 2014 and can be downloaded here.
  • Intra-Company Transfer Work Visa: This may be issued to a foreigner who is employed abroad by a business operating in the Republic in a branch, subsidiary or affiliate relationship, and who, by reason of his employment, is required to work in the Republic for a period not exceeding four years. The permit is not renewable. The applicant must submit an employment contract (from the foreign employer) that is in force for not less than six months.

Corporate Visa and Individual Corporate Worker Visas

  • Corporate visa for companies: This is a challenging visa to apply for and is still a matter of building a case for why the company requires the specific foreign staff instead of South Africans. The regulations include requirements such as letters from the DTI and the Department of Labour, but will only issued for a period of three years (previously five). Before, one could extend the individual Corporate Worker Visas, even replace a vacated position based on the same worker’s authorisation certificate, however this has been abolished. It also does not count towards permanent residence. The corporate visa has also been limited to a three year period and this is also the limit for the individual worker.
  • For each employed foreigner: An authorisation certificate is then received for each foreigner to be employed. The new regulations require that a corporate worker may not renew a visa, or apply for a change of status within South Africa. Applications for corporate worker permits must be accompanied by SAQA Certificate proof of professional registration, making the process similar to that of a general work permit application, save that the placement of the foreigner is approved in advance.

The ability of the Department of Home Affairs to implement tough new immigration regulations has been questioned by experts. Among them, immigration lawyers say that the new regulations could also affect businesses looking for workers with skills they cannot find locally and could frustrate highly skilled foreigners seeking to live and work here lawfully.

Nemangwe mbanje grower jailed

weed_legalise_itA 46-year old man has been slapped with a 20 month jail term after he was found with 149 mbanje plants.

Samuel Ncube of Nemangwe pleaded guilty to cultivating mbanje charge when he appeared before Gokwe magistrate Collen Chiruma. The magistrate convicted and sentenced him to 24 months. Four months of the sentence were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.

The court heard that on 19 May this year Gokwe police were on patrol when they got information that Ncube had plants of mbanje at his home garden.

They visited his home and ordered him to accompany them to his garden where they found 149 plants of the illegal drug. The plants were measuring between 0,56 and 1,7m tall and were all uprooted.

This then led to his arrest.