Made blasted over expired inputs
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.