Tough questions for ARDA Board

The Agricultural and Rural Development Authority has been brought to its knees by corrupt management. I would like to ask Board Chairman B.S.E. Nyabadza why he is refusing to meet head office workers, who wrote several letters to the Chairman, the then permanent secretary for agriculture and the minister himself, Joseph Made.

The letters highlighted a number of irregularities that have brought ARDA to its knees:

1. A CBZ loan amounting to about $9 million. What was this money used for?

2. ARDA lost about $170,000 in the sale of wheat to a bogus company, Tandarai Inn, on credit when company policy does not allow anyone to sell any produce on credit.

3. Workers questioned the management competence in purchasing tea plucking machines from Brazil in 2004 and paying the amount in full, but the machines have never been delivered.

4. Why did management purchase 100 tonnes of fertilizer from Nyabadza instead of from companies like ZFC and Windmill?

5. How was Nyabadza’ s sister chosen to partner the hunter in the SAVE conservancy?

6. Why were pension contributions not remitted to Old Mutual since the inception of the multi-currency system to date?

7. Why is the Board failing to appoint a substantive General Manager?

8. Where are the 307 tonnes of wheat from Rating and Macdom Investments?

9. Why did management buy a new generator instead of sending the one they had for repairs?

10. Why is management not collecting 120 tractor trailers bought and fully paid for from Trinity Engineering?

11. Why are workers not being paid when Rating and Macdom owe ARDA in excess of $4 million?

12. Why is the Acting General Manager using a hired vehicle when he has two vehicles allocated to him and also considering that ARDA is bankrupt.

These and many others were reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Minister of Agriculture, but up to now nothing has been done. ARDA estates are lying idle. The Chairman is always in the media talking about Greenfuels, but ARDA is not benefiting from this. Some employees have gone for more than 18 months without pay. Is Made aware of this or he is together with the culprits?

We as workers want the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the above issues. We are prepared to offer evidence in all the above cases. – ARDA EMPLOYEES

Every effort was made to secure ARDA’s side of this story. Our reporters contacted three estate managers, who referred all questions to Head Office, and the acting General Manager W.T Mbona, who declined to comment. The workers’ representative, Mr Nduku, confirmed the allegations made by the workers. In view of the fact that ARDA is a parastatal, funded by taxpayers’ money, we believe this matter is in the public interest and have therefore decided to publish the workers’ letter in the hope of eliciting answers from the authorities. – Editor

Post published in: Letters to the Editor
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