Barclays loses Kondozi equipment

Augustine Mukaro

BARCLAYS Bank of Zimbabwe has failed to recover billions of dollars worth of equipment invested in Kondozi Farm in Odzi, which was taken over by the Agricultural and Rural Development Author

ity (Arda) earlier this year.


Highly placed sources said although the High Court had granted Barclays an order to repossess the equipment on the farm, the bank had been blocked from effecting the order.

“Arda sought political intervention on the matter, forcing Barclays to instruct its lawyers to put the case in abeyance pending negotiations,” sources said.

“Arda chief Joseph Matowanyika was the first to plead with the bank not to effect the High Court order as the quasi-government agricultural arm was interested in acquiring most of the equipment,” a source said.

“When the negotiations failed to yield results, Arda approached the presidency to intervene. Up to now Barclays has not instructed its lawyers to effect the order, a clear indication that the bank has succumbed to political pressure and given up on the equipment,” the source said.

Arda was reportedly interested in tractors, fresh produce transporting trucks, irrigation equipment and the crop packaging machines. To date no equipment has been recovered from Kondozi Farm and Arda is using it for its day-to-day operations.

The sources said independent evaluators were dispatched to Kondozi to put a price on the equipment which Arda wants. Barclays then set conditions for payment for the equipment.

Matowanyika was not available for comment at the time of going to press yesterday. But the sources said Barclays was forced to settle for a lopsided deal after it failed to get a deposit upfront, which it originally wanted.

The High Court first granted Barclays an order to repossess all movable farm equipment at Kondozi Farm in May and it was confirmed in July.

Movable assets listed in the order included an ERF 30-tonne truck, two-tonne forklifts, 30 motorised knapsacks, 10 Jialing motor cycles, 15 Same tractors, six Nissan Diesel UD 90 chassis & cab trucks, three Nissan Cabstar four tonne trucks, two Nissan 2,7 S/cab trucks, and two Nissan 2,7 Hardbody D/Cabs.

Kondozi was still expected to pay about $5 billion for the listed assets.

The violent seizure of Kondozi farm by Zanu PF through Arda and the abrupt closure of the horticultural concern adversely affected the company’s financiers, Barclays-Fincor, Zimbank-Syfrets and the African Banking Corporation which had collectively invested about $37 billion in the project.

The order granted by Justice Charles Hungwe in May placed all the movable assets at Kondozi under judicial attachment and barred Arda from using or tampering with the equipment.