ZFDC executives up for theft

HARARE - Former Zimbabwe Farmers Development Company executives were yesterday hauled before the courts on $9 million theft charges.

Edward Raradza, 71, Matthew Raradza, 46, and Thomas Nherera, 68, were released on $300 bail each and ordered to surrender their passports and continue residing at their present addresses as part of bail conditions.

They were charged with theft of trust property.

The complainant is Zimbabwe Farmers Development Company (ZFDC).

Edward was the chairperson, Matthew an executive director and Nherera the director of administration.

According to State papers, the shareholding of ZFDC was between Farmers World Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd which had 55 percent and government represented by Hero Fence (Pvt) Ltd that had 45 percent.

ZFDC was mandated to source agricultural equipment from China and hand it to legitimate farmers on a credit facility.

Every farmer was supposed to make deposit payments of 10 percent of the equipment that they would have been given by ZFDC.

The court heard that between 2005 and 2010, ZFDC received agricultural equipment on credit from China Exim Bank valued $60 million.

The credit facility was guaranteed by government. Edward and his accomplices reportedly connived to steal the equipment.

The allegedly took tractors, excavators, loaders, bull dozers and various other equipment.

According to State papers, the total value of prejudice was $9 741 286, 79.

On the second charge, it was alleged that Edward and Matthew gave Phillip Chiyangwa farming implements worth $597 844, 12 and on June 11, 2011 the pair reduced the debt to $500 000.

The court heard that Edward and Matthew immediately transferred $494 423, 76 into a Banc ABC account of Coachcard investments owned by their wives to clear individual debts.

ZFDC was subsequently prejudiced the amount and nothing was recovered.

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