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Kuda Tagwirei Opens Up On Command Agriculture, Denies Stealing US$3 Billion

Kuda Tagwirei Opens Up On Command Agriculture, Denies Stealing US$3 Billion

Businessman Kuda Tagwirei has denied allegations of misappropriating US$3 billion in State funds under the Command Agriculture programme.

He commented on the allegations while officiating a graduation ceremony at Solusi University where he was a guest of honour.

The US$3 billion was released by the government during the 2017 and 2018 agricultural seasons but was not accounted for by the agricultural ministry according to a report by the Auditor General.

Tagwirei, who sponsors the programme, said it has been successful and those who speak up against it are mere detractors. He said:

I did a project proposal for contract farming which we now call Command Agriculture and I had a problem because there was what was called the RTGS at that time and there was no money which was moving out of the country, so I had this problem but at the same time, there was this bigger problem in the country.

I gave them (the proposal) in 2015, the government took one year thinking about it and when they were thinking about it they had offers from other people to do the same programme.

My interest rate was the lowest. It was 4%. When we started the programme, no one thought it was going to succeed and no one talked about it.

When it was successful in 2017, the US Agriculture Department wrote that Zimbabwe was doing one of the best things in command agriculture.

(But) when they began to think about who I was supporting and that I was supporting the government of the day, they then said he stole US$3 billion and I was placed on sanctions.

So, this is what I was trying to do. To try and make the land become successful.

The government-funded Command Agriculture programme was ostensibly established to ensure food security.

However, critics say the programme has been used to loot funds by the political elite and their business associates. |

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