By Staff Reporter | Nehanda Politics |
The Lands and Agriculture Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chaired by Zanu PF’s Justice Mayor Wadyajena left Minister Anxious Masuka apologising after it revealed that the crumbling state-owned Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA) was operating with two board chairpersons and two chief executives.
The controversy emanated from the restructuring exercise of the board and senior management of ARDA by Masuka who recently claimed that he had requested permission from President Emmerson Mnangagwa to restructure the struggling parastatal.
Wadyajena then called the minister to bring before the committee proof to support that his recent appointments of a new ARDA board and top management was above board.
The committee noted that last March, Tinotenda Mhiko was appointed by Masuku as the new CEO while Irvine Craig was appointed board chairperson and Lance Jena, deputy chairperson.
But it emerged that Muntubane Nzima, Johannes Makodho, and William Mbona were still operating as chairperson, deputy chairperson, and CEO, and continued receiving the normal perks since their appointment in 2017 by then Agriculture minister Joseph Made.
Masuka pleaded with the parliamentary committee to sanction his recent appointment but admitted that the recruitment had been done unlawfully.
“I seek authority to restructure the ARDA board and senior managed team as a matter of urgency,” he pleaded.
“I suggested that the board chair (Nzima) and his deputy (Makodho) be removed, and concurrently, I recommend that Irvine Craig and Lance Jena be appointed as ARDA board chairperson and deputy chairperson respectively.
“Furthermore, an urgent restructuring of the senior management is required for the transformation of ARDA so that the parastatal can play its critical role towards the attainment of vision 2030.
“In this regard, I seek your approval for the board to retire the chief executive officer William Mbona who is now 63-years-old and does not have a valid contract but only a letter of employment written by former Agriculture Minister Joseph Made on May 2, 2017.”
Wadyajena ordered Masuka to bring documentation to support the restructuring of ARDA showing how he recruited to ensure the process was done.
“We want ARDA to successfully meet the objectives of Vision 2030, but we also want them to follow due process,” Wadyajena said.
Meanwhile, ARDA is responsible for spearheading the advancement of agricultural production and rural development. Nehanda Radio