Joseph Made Rewarded For Managing Mugabe's Farms

Highly placed sources at ARDA told Radio VOP at the weekend that Made had been drawing a salary from the parastatal as well as receiving benefits including top of the range vehicles.

“The source described Made as a “bootlicker”, adding he was being paid for managing President Mugabe’s farms.

Made was ARDA’s  Chief Executive Officer, before he was appointed Agriculture minister by Mugabe in 2000.  ARDA, which owns vast tracts of land throughout the country, used to be a centre of agricultural excellence and the envy of many in the whole Southern African Development Community (SADC)  region.

It is alleged one of Made’s successors at ARDA, Erickson Mvududu, was fired  last year for conducting a staff audit which revealed that Made was still earning a salary from the parastatal, years after he left.

Made is said to be managing several farms for Mugabe among them the biggest farm in the country, the vast Highfield farm in Norton, the controversial Gushungo dairy farm whose milk is now being rejected by Swiss-based Nestle due to sanctions and Iron Mask farm which was invaded by the first lady Grace Mugabe.

Made is also said to have presided over the looting of ARDA assets, among them land, tractors, combine harvesters, fuel and vehicles channelling them to senior Zanu Pf officials amongst them Mugabe and to his own two farms which he grabbed in Manicaland province’s Headlands area. Some of the tractors and equipment were donated by Iranians and Chinese for agricultural development in the country.

Only recently Made struck a deal with businessman and farmer, Billy Rautenbach, in which vast tracts of sugar estates belonging to ARDA have been leased for a song to a joint venture in which the controversial business magnate has a controlling interest.

Rautenbach is believed to control 60 percent of Middle Sabi and Chisumbanje Sugar Estates through his Rating Investments ahead of other suitors that management felt had a more attractive proposal. The deal was the final nail in the short tenure of  Mvududu reign as ARDA’s boss, as he was fired for resisting the deal, arguing that  the development of Middle Sabi and Chisumbanje should follow a model different from that proposed by Rautenbach which he felt was speculative and not beneficial to ARDA.