Tanzania is still awaiting payment for the equivalent of US$180 million for 100,000 tonnes of cashew nuts the government controversially agreed to sell to a Kenya-based company, Indo Power, in a deal signed in Arusha in January.

Last month, opposition member of parliament Zitto Kabwe called on the Bank of Tanzania to publicly name the bank that issued a letter of credit (L/C) that was said to have facilitated the deal. Indo Power's chief executive Brian Mutembei meanwhile refused to name the bank that issued the L/C (DC World News, 25 February 2019).

L/Cs declined

Kabwe now says that three commercial banks have declined to issue L/Cs to Indo Power.

Tanzania's industry and trade minister, Joseph Kakunda, meanwhile says that the consignment will not be released to the Kenyan firm until it has completed all legal, commercial and financial procedures.

Dubious company

Questions emerged over Indo Power's authenticity since the company has no record of transactions similar to the US$180 million cashew nut deal.

When asked whether the government had done its due diligence on the firms interested in buying its cashew nut stockpile, Kakunda said they were not being "choosy" in the search for customers.

State-owned nuts

Tanzania's government unilaterally bought and the army collected all the harvests of cashew nuts from farmers in southern Tanzania after a November 2018 price standoff with private buyers.

The government has been struggling ever since trying to find buyers for its cashew nuts.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.