Made blasted over ex­pired in­puts

The Manica Post - - Front Page -

REVE­LA­TIONS of for­mer Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Dr Joseph Made hoard­ing farm­ing in­puts, plant and equip­ment at Tara Farm (Head­lands) are a typ­i­cal ex­am­ple of the in­sen­si­tiv­ity, self­ish­ness and greed by some top of­fi­cials that the new Gov­ern­ment must deal with to put peo­ple be­fore self-serv­ing in­ter­ests.

A Man­i­ca­land in­spec­torate com­mit­tee un­rav­elled the hoarded rot­ting and ex­pired maize seed, equip­ment com­pris­ing 10 sta­teof-the-art cen­tre piv­ots, seven brand new trac­tors, seven planters, three ridgers, two har­rows, alu­minum ir­ri­ga­tion pipes, six gen­er­a­tors, four pumps, boxed ready bi­cy­cle parts, wheel chairs, ex­pired drugs, crutches, walk­ing aids, ex­pired maize seed, 600 bags of blend D fer­tiliser and 600x50kg bags of urea at Made’s farm.

Ac­cord­ing to Makoni As­sis­tant Dis­trict Ad­min­is­tra­tor Mr Past­tense Tarondwa, the in­spec­tion was not tar­geted at Tara Farm, but all farms in the dis­trict.

“As we toured the farm, we bumped into lots of equip­ment that has been ly­ing idle since 2007, and included, but is not lim­ited to brand new ir­ri­ga­tion pipes, seven trac­tors, seven state-of-the-art planters, three ridgers, disc har­rows and 10 cen­tre piv­ots. We also dis­cov­ered six state-of-the-art gen­er­a­tors, each with ca­pac­ity to light the whole of Rusape and four brand new pumps. At least 600 bags of blend d fer­tiliser, 630 bags of urea, brand new boxed wheel­chairs, bi­cy­cle units, ex­pired med­i­cal equip­ment, ex­pired seed close to two tonnes and dated 2006, and rolls of barbed wire were stashed in the ware­house,” said Mr Tarondwa.

He said Tara Farm - which is an an­nex­a­tion Tara of He­len­vale and Cause­way of Tara - has 1 200 hectares, against the rec­om­mended max­i­mum size of 400ha.

At least 480 cat­tle and 90 goats are be­ing kept at the farm, pre­vi­ously revered for high value to­bacco, wheat and maize. The hoard­ing is proof that Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s ad­min­is­tra­tion has a lot of house­keep­ing is­sues to do. The dis­cov­ery of the con­sign­ment of equip­ment worth mil­lions of dol­lars raises se­ri­ous con­cerns that some shefs could have flexed their po­lit­i­cal mus­cles to loot un­der Gov­ern­ment pro­grammes and from farms ac­quired un­der the land re­form pro­gramme.

“The farm man­ager told us that the equip­ment was brought at the farm be­tween 2007 and 2009 and has been ly­ing idle since then. Of the 10 cen­tre piv­ots, only two are in proper work­ing con­di­tion, the rest have been van­dal­ized,” Mr Tarondwa said.

The av­er­age cost of a new quar­ter sec­tion cen­tre pivot ir­ri­gat­ing about 52ha costs around $80 000.

“Dr Made was not on the ground, only his man­ager and 19 work­ers, who were bit­ter that they had not been paid for past 12 months,

were util­is­ing 30ha.

Apart from Tara Farm, other farms that un­der­utilised and leased to white farm­ers in­clude the Re­main­ing Ex­ten­sion of Maid­stone, which be­longs to for­mer Man­i­ca­land Gov­er­nor Cde Ti­naye Chigudu. RE of Maid­stone Farm mea­sures 755ha and only 100 is be­ing utilised a cer­tain white farmer.

Mona Farm, which was at the cen­tre of wran­gle be­tween for­mer Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs Min­is­ter Mandi Chimene and Mrs

Chris­tine Murem­bwe, has 13ha out of 1 117ha are un­der use.

For­mer Min­is­ter Didy­mus Mu­tasa’s an­nexed farm Lorn Cop is also be­ing leased to Mr Den­nis Chap­man. Morester Farm, which is owned by Mr Mike Nyabadza, also ex­ceeded set farm sizes, un­der-utilised and be­ing leased.

“Mr Mu­tasa is not the one us­ing the farm, but a white farmer Mr Den­nis Chap­man. The farm has 700ha and only 290ha are be­ing utilised. The farm is also an an­nex­a­tion of three sep­a­rate

farms, namely Lorn Cop, Sun­rise, and the late Cde Tungami­rai’s farm,” said Mr Tarondwa.

Some of the farms in Man­i­ca­land are as big as 3 000 hectares, against the dic­tates of Statu­tory 288 of 2000 which pre­scribes the max­i­mum farm sizes across the coun­try’s five eco­log­i­cal re­gions.

The max­i­mum farm size in Nat­u­ral Re­gion One was pegged at 250ha, Re­gion Two 400ha, Re­gion Three 500ha, re­gions Four and Five1 000ha and 2 000ha, re­spec­tively.

Some of the ex­pired and rot­ting Pres­i­den­tial in­puts found at Made's Tara Farm in Rusape.

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