Tomato canning equipment and other machinery sourced by the late Vice President Joshua Nkomo soon after independence is lying idle at the ARDA Balu estate in Umguza.
This was exposed when Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko visited the estate over the weekend and came face to face with the Agriculture And Rural Development Authority (ARDA)’s incompetency.
Balu estate, owned by ARDA is in a state of dilapidation with the state of the art equipment sourced by the late Dr Nkomo decomposing.
It is also not clear what happened to the over 500 dairy cows that were at the estate.
He described the state of affairs at the estate as tantamount to sabotaging the land reform programme and questioned the ARDA board and management’s commitment to duty.
The equipment includes storage tanks, piping material, farming equipment such as tractors and combine harvesters.
Dr Nkomo`s vision was to have local farmers grow tomatoes and have them canned at the estate.
So sorry was the situation at the estate that not even a single manager was at hand to give answers.
Efforts to get a comment from ARDA board chairman were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered before it became unreachable.