Msika toured Rattray Arnold Research Station and Frascoti Seed Production Farms in the province, both owned by Seed Co, and officially launched a new wheat seed.
Sources said that after the tour, management at the company took Msika by surprise when they announced that they were giving him more than 23 tones of seed.
The sources said many people were taken aback by the donation, given the magnitude of the seed that was being donated to President Robert Mugabe’s deputy.
“After the tour, the management at Seed Co told guests that they wanted to give the vice president a token of appreciation. Everybody expected something modest.
“But then they announced they were handing over a token of appreciation that included 10 tonnes of wheat seed as well as another 10 tonnes of maize seed,” said the source that attended the tour.
Apart from the maize and wheat donation to Msika, Seed Co allegedly donated a further truckload of seed, which management said was for the vice president’s donation to people of his choice.
The source said other invited guests to the tour suspected the generous donation was a kickback that Seed Co was paying to the government, through Msika, for the farms that had been allocated to the company by the government.
“People thought it was a kickback of some sort because if they had really wanted to make a donation, they could have simply donated at least five tones or less combined of both maize and wheat seed variety. To many, it was a thank-you for the farms that government had given to Seed Co,” the source said.
Contacted for comment, Pat Devenish, the Seed Co chief executive officer, said that there was nothing sinister about the donation, adding that it was “company policy to thank officials who would have visited their properties.
“I am pretty sure there was nothing sinister about that. It’s our company policy that we donate some seed to senior government officials who visit us. It was simply following company policy and nothing else,” said Devenish, before referring more questions to the company’s managing director, Dennis Zaranyika, who would not answer his mobile phone.
The donation comes against a background of projected reduction in seed production by Seed Co, with sources saying the company could produce only 200 tonnes of the annual target of 400 tonnes, the sources said. – CAJ News
HARARE – Seed Co, one of Zimbabwe's biggest seed producing companies, recently shocked invited guests when it donated more than 23 tonnes of maize and wheat seed to vice President Joseph Msika who had visited its properties in Mashonaland East province. This represents more than 10% of its ann