Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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No hope of recouping debts: Arda

No hope of recouping debts: Arda

Friday, 29 July 2011 10:49

Paidamoyo Muzulu

THE Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) has lost hope of 
recouping any money from institutions and politicians who benefited from the 
10-million euros tractors bought for agricultural mechanisation in early 
According to Arda chairman Basil Nyabadza, 428 tractors were bought from 
Iranian manufacturer Itmoc for the first phase of government’s farm 
mechanisation programme at the height of farm invasions.

Nyabadza told the Zimbabwe Independent on Tuesday that the process to 
recover money from tractor beneficiaries was time-consuming and would cost 
the authority a fortune.

He revealed that the scheme’s beneficiaries had not paid a cent to Arda 
despite numerous letters of demand.

Nyabadza disclosed that the tractor scheme was seriously abused and 
beneficiaries were refusing to pay for the equipment because they believed 
they were entitled to freely benefit from the land reform programme.

“It’s costly to engage lawyers to ask the farmers and beneficiaries to pay,” 
he said. “We are, however, hopeful that the beneficiaries will behave 
honourably and settle what they owe the authority. The assets were grossly 
abused. Beneficiaries saw Arda equipment as their right and abused it 
thereby greatly undermining the authority’s effort to remain capitalised,” 
said Nyabadza.

Arda’s position mirrors that of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which is also 
failing to recover US$198 million from farmers who benefited under phase two 
of the government’s farm mechanisation programme.

Under this scheme, the RBZ distributed 2 134 tractors, 879 ploughs, 840 
harrows, 342 planters, 282 vicons, 69 combine harvesters and 19 hay balers 
to A2 farm beneficiaries.

RBZ governor Gideon Gono told parliament last week that there was no 
political will to recover debts from beneficiaries.

The full list of beneficiaries has not been disclosed but it is believed 
that the majority are ministers, senior civil servants and senior Zanu PF 

The farm mechanisation debts are very significant in the national debt 
presently pegged at over US$8 billion. Zimbabwe has been cut off from most 
offshore lines of credit for failing to service its debts.


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