ZANU PF politicians have taken lawlessness on the farms a step further after they allegedly took much of Kondozi farm equipment for personal gain, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week. <
Manicaland provincial officials and Zanu PF supporters who spearheaded the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda)’s takeover of Kondozi earlier this year are said to have seized much of the equipment and taken it to their properties.
The revelation comes at a time when Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe is failing to recover billions of dollars worth of equipment invested in the farm in Odzi.
“When Barclays’ evaluation team visited the farm to make an assessment and put a price on movable equipment, most of it had gone missing,” sources said. “Party leaders who spearheaded the takeover of the farm helped themselves to the equipment and agricultural inputs which included fertiliser and chemicals.”
When Kondozi was invaded in April it lost billions dollars’ worth of equipment, which included 48 tractors, four Scania trucks, five UD trucks, several T35 trucks and 26 motorbikes. Several tonnes of fertilisers and chemicals were also lost.
In May Barclays obtained a High Court order authorising it to repossess the farming equipment at Kondozi. The bank is still struggling to get the equipment, which has gone missing.
After the High Court order, Arda intimated to Barclays that it was interested in buying the equipment.
Sources said independent evaluators who visited Kondozi Farm for assessments discovered massive looting of equipment. This scuttled negotiations between Barclays and Arda.
“Findings of the evaluators indicated that some of the equipment had been taken to other Arda estates around the country while other implements could not be accounted for,” sources said. “Tractors, trucks, motorbikes as well as fertilisers and chemicals have been recorded as missing items.”
Transport and Communication minister Chris Mushowe who is alleged to have played a part in the take over of Kondozi, dismissed allegations of looting of equipment as malicious.
“I have absolutely nothing from Kondozi,” Mushowe said. “In fact, that allegation is false and malicious. I don’t even have a tractor at my farm so when I want to till the land I actually hire,” he said.
“I don’t even understand why people drag me into Kondozi issues. The farm was given to Arda and they should be in a position to tell you where the equipment is,” Mushowe said.
Manicaland provincial chairman Mike Madiro dismissed the allegations as a political gimmick aimed at discrediting his executive.
“There is no truth in those claims,” Madiro said. “If there are individual members who could have taken some of the equipment they should be named and allow the law to take its course.”
Madiro said there was no member of his executive who took anything from Kondozi.