Senior Court Reporter
Former Zimbabwe Farmers’ Development Company (ZFDC) chairperson Edward Raradza and his son, Mathew, who were facing allegations of defrauding the institution of US$494 423 meant for farming implements, were today freed by a Harare magistrate.
The pair were freed after the State agreed to have them removed from further remand saying it would proceed by way of summons.
Edward and Mathew Raradza were freed by Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje.
Allegations against the duo were 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 his son 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 were 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.
Raradza and his son were also freed on another charge in which they allegedly defrauded ZFDC of $10 million which was meant for farming implements from China for its members.
It was being 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.
After receiving the equipment, which was guaranteed by Government, they allegedly stole them from ZFDC.
Among the equipment stolen were tractors valued at $9,74 million.