On Friday, the two associations filed a ConCourt application challenging Statutory Instrument (Minimum Grain Producer Prices) Regulations 2014 (SI 122 of 2014), arguing that the legal instrument was constitutionally invalid and violated their rights as enshrined in sections 56 (1) as read with sections 134 (b) and 194 (1) (e) of the Constitution.
Agriculture Mechanisation and
The looming court battle followed an announcement by the government sometime in April this year stating that Cabinet had approved a maize producer price of no less than
Early this month, the associations said, the
The associations further said that prior to the gazetting of the maize prices by the government, its members had bought maize from various producers and farmers for prices that ranged from
They argued that they were not bound by the government's gazetted price of
They added that the price was announced after they had already agreed on new prices with contract farmers.
The associations said their members, who were buying maize at negotiated prices ranging from
"At the time the 2nd respondent [Made] announced the
"The first applicant's interpretation of operation and import of statutory instrument 122/14 retrospectively criminalises the applicant's member's previously legal conduct. Such is constitutionally offensive as it violates the protection of the law provision."
Turning to the issues of the marketing season, the associations said SI 122 of 2014 was "impermissibly vague" since it did not define when the agricultural marketing seasons would begin and when it would end.
"This is a material issue as the said instrument clearly states that the 2nd respondent [Made] can only announce floor prices at the beginning of the marketing season. The said instrument does not state what happens if the 2nd respondent does not set the minimum price, it is to be assumed that the producer and buyers can set their own prices, or does it mean that the buyers and producers revert to the prices of the previous marketing season," the associations asked.
"Considering the criminal penalties levied in terms of section 4 of SI 122 of 2014 such vagueness is constitutionally impermissible and for such reason the SI should be quashed."
The cited respondents are yet to respond to the application and the matter is likely to be heard when the ConCourt opens for the third term next month.
Most Popular Stories
- Doctor Who Christmas Episode Begins Production
- HCL America Adding 1,200 IT Jobs
- Medical Mfg. Jobs Coming to Dayton
- Michael Jackson, Freddie Mercury on Previously Unreleased Queen Cut
- Longtime Unemployed to Get Help in Las Vegas
- SpaceX Aims for Predawn Launch on Saturday
- Women Key to Democratic Party: Clinton
- U.S. Chamber Caught Up in Tax Inversion Question
- Feds Won't Say How Many Border Crossers Jailed
- Christie Didn't Order Bridge Shut Down, Feds Say