TANZANIA – Dodoma-based tea processor, Rift Valley Tea Solution, has suffered a blow after its properties have been auctioned for failure to remit employees’ monthly contributions to the country’s NSSF Pension fund worth 226 million (US$96.7m), according to Daily News Tanzania.
NSSF (National Social Security Fund) is the government agency of Tanzania responsible for the collection, safekeeping, responsible investment, and distribution of retirement funds of all employees in all sectors of the Tanzania economy that do not fall under the government pension schemes.
The Executive Director of Freedom Path Tanzania, Court Brokerage Company, Mr. Deusdedit Kabunduguru said in the case the claimant was the Board of Trustees of the NSSF against Rift Valley Tea Solution who failed to submit employees’ contributions and the court awarded the Fund to compensate.
He explained: “This public auction is implemented based on the instructions of the Temeke District Court in Dar es Salaam, in case number 93/2022, whereby the claimant was the NSSF Board against Rift Valley Tea Solution where the claimant failed to submit employees’ contributions and NSSF decided to file a case in Court so that the employees’ contributions could be recovered.”
According to Mr. Kabunduguru, the NSSF demanded contributions amounting to 226m/- where the company had not remitted contributions for more than three years.
4 years ago, Kenyan businessman David Langat, who also owns Koisagat Tea Estate in Nandi County, made a bold move to expand his tea venture with an acquisition of three companies from British firm Rift Valley Corporation for an estimated price of Sh6 billion (US$48.3m).
Through D L Koisagat, Mr. Langat took a 99 percent stake in Mufindi Tea and Coffee Limited, Rift Valley Tea Solutions Limited, and Kibena Tea Limited.
Rift Valley Corporation owned the three companies as well as the Luponde and Ikanga tea factories which were not cited as part of Mr. Langat’s targeted companies by the Fair Competition Commission of Tanzania.
Speaking on behalf of the NSSF Pension Fund, Mr. Geofrey Sikira,the Fund’s Advocacy Manager, urged all employers to respect the rule of law by submitting employee contributions to avoid such inconveniences in the future.
On his part, Ramadhani Juma, who won the auction, said he bought the plant for 167m/- and that it is going to increase the chain value of tea production in his company, and he expects to have good sales in the international market.