THE Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda) wants Barclays Bank to leave some of the former owner’s equipment on Kondozi Farm in Odzi for use by the parastatal, the Zimbabwe Inde
pendent heard this week.
Highly-placed sources at Barclays said Arda chief Joseph Matowanyika this week pleaded with the bank not to execute in its totality a High Court order to withdraw agricultural equipment, previously owned by Kondozi Fresh Produce, from Kondozi Farm which was taken over by Arda earlier this year.
The High Court two weeks ago ruled that the equipment at Kondozi should be returned to Barclays Bank which had invested heavily in the horticultural project. This followed the invasion of Kondozi by Arda in April.
“Arda indicated that they were interested in mostly tractors, irrigation equipment and crop packing machines,” sources said.
“Independent evaluators have been dispatched to Kondozi to put a price tag on the equipment which Arda wants. Negotiations are under way and Barclays has set conditions that Arda has to abide by before using the equipment.”
Matowanyika was not available for comment. Sources said Barclays was amenable to the deal although it was demanding a deposit upfront before releasing the equipment to Arda.
A fortnight ago the High Court confirmed Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe’s order to repossess all movable farming equipment on Kondozi Farm.
Movable assets listed in the order include an ERF 30-tonne truck, two-tonne forklifts, 30 motorised knapsacks, 10 Jialing motorbikes, 15 Same tractors, six Nissan diesel UD90 trucks, three Nissan Cabstar four-tonne trucks, two Nissan 2,7 single cab trucks and two Nissan 2,7 Hardbody double cab trucks. The assets are valued at about $5 billion.
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 who had collectively invested about $37 billion in the project.
A provisional order granted by Justice Charles Hungwe in May placed all movable assets at Kondozi under judicial attachment and barred Arda from using or tampering with the equipment.