HomeLocalGovernment tightens grip on Kondozi

Government tightens grip on Kondozi

Augustine Mukaro

BONNEZIM (Pvt) Ltd, an agro-processing arm of the government-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), is set to take over the controversial Kondo

zi Estate in a move designed to bolster Zanu PF’s grip on the former horticultural concern.

Bonnezim, a former subsidiary of diversified industrial group Murray & Roberts, was taken over by IDC last year and is expected to lead a consortium of indigenous businessmen in reviving Kondozi.

Bonnezim, based in Chegutu, is currently exporting fresh produce to a number of international markets.

Bonnezim managing director, a Mr A Mangena, was not available for comment. His mobile phone went unanswered the whole of yesterday.

Sources at Kondozi said in mid-June Bonnezim management was at the estate to assess what would be needed to revive the project and called in former Kondozi employees to ascertain the skills base that still remained in the Odzi community.

“Bonnezim announced that they were inviting potential employees as the new developers of Kondozi,” the source said.

“Former Kondozi employees thronged the estate management complex, seeking re-engagement,” the source said.

Government has made the revival of Kondozi estate one of its priority areas under its National Economic Development Priority Programme.

The IDC has been granted the authority to revive Kondozi and will be monitored by the Foreign Exchange Mobilisation and Utilisation taskforce.

Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono chairs the task force.

Highly-placed sources said government opted to cede Kondozi to the IDC after the former owners spurned overtures to return.

Kondozi, a major horticultural exporting enterprise in the Odzi district of Manicaland, was taken over by government on Christmas Eve in 2004. Since then, much of the equipment has been looted allegedly by senior government officials. Much of the infrastructure has collapsed.

Previous efforts to revive Kondozi through the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority and the army have failed.

Government deployed the army under the command agriculture programme — Operation Maguta — to till the land. Out of the 224 hectares of prime land, the army planted a mere 40 hectares this season.

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