Ex-farmers’ boss, son face fraud charges

Source: Ex-farmers’ boss, son face fraud charges | The Herald 09 JAN, 2020

Ex-farmers’ boss, son face fraud charges

Nyore Madzianike,Senior Court Reporter

Former Zimbabwe Farmers’ Development Company (ZFDC) chairperson Edward Raradza and his son, Mathew, will face trial on February 18 on charges of defrauding the company of US$494 423 meant for farming implements.

The trial was supposed to open yesterday, but the State, led by Mr Clemence Chimbare, applied for the matter to be deferred to February 18 after it failed to furnish the two with some documents they had requested.

Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya then set the new date.

Allegations are that on July 9, 2009, Finwood Investments received farming implements worth US$497 649 through a credit facility from ZFDC.

On June 11, 2012, Raradza and Mathew allegedly acting in common purpose and without the company’s resolution, reduced Finwood Investment debt to US$500 000 after it had ballooned to US$597 844 due to interest and penalties. On June 16 of the same year, Raradza allegedly deposited the US$500 000 into ZFDC’s BancABC account.

Further allegations are that on the same day, the two allegedly took US$494 423 and transferred it into Coachcard Investments’ account to clear their private company’s debt with BancABC.

Coachcard Investments is said to be owned by Raradza and his wife Julie.

The offence came to light in March 2014 after the Auditor- General’s report. Investigations led to Raradza and Mathew’s arrest.

In a related matter, the two appeared in court after they allegedly defrauded ZFDC of $10 million which was meant for farming implements from China for the company’s members.

It is alleged that sometime in 2005, ZFDC was tasked to source agricultural equipment from China on behalf of eligible farmers through a credit facility.

Each farmer was supposed to pay 10 percent deposit to the company.

Between 2005 and 2010, ZFDC received farming equipment on credit through China Export and Import Bank valued at $60 million.

Allegations against the pair were that after receiving the equipment, which was guaranteed by Government, they stole it from ZFDC.

Among the equipment stolen were tractors valued at $9,74 million.

The matter is still pending before the courts.