RBZ probes allocation of agribond funds

Blessing Zulu

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is investigating all companies that accessed money raised through agribonds last year to kick-start the agricultural sector adversely affected by t

he land reform exercise.


FSI Agricom Holdings (Ltd) group managing director, Ivan Savala, confirmed the investigations which he said were not focused only on his company but covered all beneficiaries.


“We are not aware of specific investigations into FSI Agricom Holdings (Pvt) Ltd save for the general investigation into the agribonds,” said Savala.


“If you need details of any purported investigations then you are advised to approach the RBZ,” he said.


The government raised about $7,2 billion through agribonds to finance newly-resettled farmers. The agribonds were meant to raise $60 billion but failed because of uncertainty in the agriculture sector and lack of government guarantees.


The money was being managed by Syfrets Bank and 15 other financial institutions.


The move by the RBZ followed concerns raised by President Robert Mugabe to his supporters at Esidakeni Farm in Umguza on June 19 when he said FSI Agricom gobbled up about $4 billion from the fund, leaving most of the intended beneficiaries stranded.


Savala said FSI Agricom supported 29 964 farmers with the funds but refused to disclose the names of the beneficiaries.


“FSI Agricom, being a private company, is bound by usual client confidentiality and will not go about publicising individual client information,” said Savala.


Savala said FSI Agricom’s out-grower model was based on criteria that have to do with the ability to produce the crops under consideration.

“It is not based on the status of the applicant or political-party affiliation, tribe or any such unproductive criteria,” Savala said.


The Zimbabwe Independent revealed in April that Philip Chiyangwa, who was allocated Old Citrus Farm, and Enos Chikowore who got Gombera Ranch in Mashonaland West, were leasing them to FSI Agricom.


FSI Agricom also confirmed that it had entered contractual agreements with over 630 A2 farmers to operate their farms.


The RBZ did not respond to questions that were faxed two weeks ago concerning the investigations.

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