Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Green Fuel dispute political: ARDA boss

Green Fuel dispute political: ARDA boss

05/09/2012 00:00:00
by Brian Paradza

THE dispute over the US$600 million Green Fuel project is political, ARDA 
boss Basil Nyabadza has said, adding the MDC-T was determined to see the 
company to collapsing because they believe it is a Zanu PF project.

Production at the firm’s Chisumbanje ethanol plant stopped several months 
back after the company’s efforts to win government endorsement for mandatory 
blending hit a brickwall with officials blaming energy minister, Elton 

Mangoma says the company has failed to justify why all motorists must be 
forced to use its products as well as explain several other issues raised by 
the government including pricing of its fuel as well as the fate of 
villagers displaced by the project.

But Nyamadza insisted that Mangoma was playing politics.

“We had elections which saw the MDC-T candidates winning all the seats in 
the area,” Nyabadza said in an interview with

“There was a perception that this was a Zanu PF project and that brought the 
negative influence on the project by the personnel on the ground from 
councillors to cabinet ministers. The whole project was then identified as a 
Zanu PF project.”

The company is a joint venture between ARDA and two private companies which 
secured a deal to establish the project on lands owned by the agricultural 
parastatal as well as run it for 25 years before handing over control to the 

Meanwhile, Nyabadza also dismissed recent claims by Mangoma that the 
government never awarded the company National Project Status, insisting this 
was confirmed by both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan 
Tsvangirai during familiarisation visits to the Chisumbanje plant.

The ARDA boss also said Mangoma’s claim that the project had displaced 
thousands of people from their lands was inaccurate, saying the villagers 
had, in fact, settled illegally on land belonging to the parastatal.

“ARDA has always retained ownership of 40, 000 hectares of land within the 
Chisumbanje area and up to 10,000 hectares in the Middle Sabi area,” he 

“But because we had not been utilising that land for years these villagers 
were allowed to move in, not permanently, but just so that they could grow 
some crops

“So you have villagers who had using between 10-20 hectares knowing fully 
well that they were on ARDA land and that that ARDA was just not in a 
position to fully utilise it.

“They also knew that when ARDA was going to assume its right over the land 
they would have to move.”

Nyabadza however, insisted that the villagers had not been neglected saying 
the company was developing a 4,000 hectare irrigation scheme for the 700 
families who were affected.

“Over 4000 hectares of land will be developed and put under irrigation for 
the benefit of villagers. The economic life of these people has improved 
greatly; we have over six banks operating at the local shopping centre,” he 

Green Fuel spokesperson Lilian Muungani also revealed that dozens of 
families have also embarked on cane growing, taking advantage of the 
irrigation facilities developed by the company.

“241 farmers are participating in a commercial cane out grower scheme to 
grow cane for supply to the mill while receiving support services in the 
form of inputs and tillage,” said Muungani.


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