Former Zanu PF MP for Muzarabani South and Zimbabwe Farmers Development Company (ZFDC) chairperson, Edward Raradza appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday facing charges of defrauding the parastatal of more than $10 million.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Raradza (71), who was jointly charged with his son, Mathew (46) and ZFDC executive director administration Thomas Nherera (68) were not asked to plead when they appeared before magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa, who remanded them to November 22 on $300 bail each.
ZFDC, the complainant, was represented by its director Aaron Nhepera.
Raradza, Mathew and Nherera were all represented by Andrew Muvirimi.
ZFDC was incorporated under the Companies Act, with Farmers World Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd having a 55% shareholding, while government, represented by Hero Fence, holds the remaining 45% of the shares.
ZFDC was to source agricultural equipment from China and hand it to eligible farmers on a credit facility. Each beneficiary was supposed to make a payment of 10% deposit to the company.
Between 2005 and 2010, ZFDC received agricultural equipment on credit through China Exim Bank valued at $60 million which was guaranteed by the government.
The State alleges upon receipt of the equipment, the three accused, who are also directors of Zambezi Gas (Pvt) Ltd and Weldwell (Pvt) Ltd, connived to steal the agricultural equipment from ZFDC.
It is alleged the trio, acting in common purpose, stole tractors, among other equipment, valued at $9,74 million.
The State also alleged in May 2011, Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa got farming implement on credit worth $597 844 and the accused reduced the debt to $500 000 without the board’s approval.
It is alleged Raradza and Mathew, with intent to steal, transferred the bulk of the money amounting to $494 423 into an account belonging to Coachcard Investments (Private) Limited, which is owned by Raradza’s wife, Julie.
The State alleges the reduction of Chiyangwa’s debt, the transfer of money from ZFDC into a private company account, was done to steal money.
It is alleged $494 423 was lost and nothing was recovered.