THE Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) has taken over the running of FSI Agricom farms as government moves to expropriate all businesses owned by Mutumwa Mawere.
Highly placed sources said Arda managers had been deployed at the FSI Agricom head office and the four farms owned by the firm.
FSI Agricom owns Risboro, Rogate, Bosbury and Essex farms, all in Mashonaland West. The four farms are highly mechanised and produce cereals and maize seed.
“Operations at all FSI farms are now being controlled by Arda,” sources said. “Production activities and the day-to-day running of the farms now fall under the agricultural parastatal.”
Officials at FSI head office confirmed the take over, saying it was part of government’s crackdown on Mawere’s business empire.
“The whole issue started when government took over Shabanie-Mashava Mines,” one official said. “Arda officials moved into FSI on a government directive and they are directing everything, including office work.”
The official said most senior managers at FSI no longer had a say in the daily running of the company. FSI farms were listed for acquisition by the state on June 4, and served with Section 8 notices on July 9. The farms measure a total 4 305 hectares.