HomeLocalRBZ equipment goes under the hammer

RBZ equipment goes under the hammer

AT LEAST three tractors and hundreds of farm equipment items belonging to the cash-strapped Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) were auctioned in Harare yesterday to settle a US$2,1 million debt it owes Farmtec for equipment bought during the bank’s farm mechanisation programme.

Implements that went under the hammer at the Bak Storage Complex in the capital included state-of-the-art generators and tractors among other implements that were meant to benefit farmers under the botched programme spearheaded by RBZ chief Gideon Gono.

However, it could not be ascertained how much the auction raised but farmers expressed interest in the three tractors and generators that were on sale.

Farmers could be seen bulldozing their way to access implements on sale. The highest bid for one of the tractors was US$26 000.

Two other tractors on sale were taken for US$15 000 each.

Hundreds of generators acquired for the programme were also sold with the cheapest going for US$500.
Some of the implements on sale included harrows, chains, hoes, and wheelbarrows. A deposit of $500 was required for participants.

During the mechanisation programme, the central bank ordered 150 tractors from Farmec, but the company only supplied 60 worth US$2,1 million that the central bank never paid for.

The company was granted a High Court order to seize RBZ property.

When the Zimbabwe Independent visited the auction complex, hundreds of farmers were seen milling around grabbing and paying for the implements.

Some of the farmers said that they had not benefited from the Gono-led farm mechanisation programme that only benefited mostly the elite in Zanu PF and government.

Some of the implements distributed during the programme were sold by beneficiaries while most tractors were used in rural areas as public transport to ferry villagers.

The central bank is in serious financial problems that have seen it being sued by companies for failure to settle debts and pay rent for its offices countrywide.

Today and tomorrow more RBZ equipment is expected to go under the hammer as part of Farmtec’s pursuit to recover funds from the bank. The auction lots include farming implements, and furniture stripped from executive offices. Electrical appliances are also going under the hammer.

 

Moses Matenga

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