Arda vehicles up for auction over debt

SERIOUS indebtedness by the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) is set to scuttle government plans to revive agriculture as the parastatal is failing to pay traditional suppliers.



na, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>Arda, expected to be the driving force in the agricultural revival plan, risks having about 10 of its latest vehicles auctioned tomorrow after it failed to pay for seed and other inputs obtained from National Tested Seeds (NTS).


Sources privy to the case said Arda owes NTS about $9 billion for seed and other farming inputs, which it could not pay.


NTS public relations manager Langton Marunda confirmed the case but could not give details, referring the matter to the general manager Collin Richards.


Richards referred all questions to their lawyers Honey and Blankenburg.


The lawyer dealing with the matter, a Mr Regan, could not be reached for comment.


Arda lawyers, Jakachira & Company, said NTS obtained judgement by default when the parastatal failed to respond to a summons.


They have however been trying to challenge the case in the High Court.

“We have challenged the judgement but the applications were dismissed as having no merit,” a lawyer at the firm said.


“Arda then promised to pay the money but the attachment of the vehicles and subsequent publication of an auction notice shows that no payment was done.”


The lawyer said the vehicles were attached two weeks ago and Arda was still trying to raise the money to prevent the assets from going under the hammer.


Two auction notice adverts were flighted this week to publicise the sale.


The vehicles that are expected to be sold through Ruby Auctions on Saturday include a Nissan-Hardbody 3.2D; a Mazda Eagle B2500; a Mazda B2500 DX, a Toyota Corolla, a Toyota Sprinter and five Mazda B1800 pick-up trucks.


All the vehicles except three were purchased last year.


Arda officials said only the chief executive Joseph Matowanyika was in a position to comment but he was out to his farm. His mobile went unanswered. – Staff Writers.

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