Thursday, 3 June 2010
KIKWETE’S HYPOCRISY OVER MENGI AND SILVERDALE FARM
According to IPP Media’s Guardian reporter Jackson Kimambo President Kikwete is cross. He is cross at the fact that certain ‘foreign investors’ have leased farms from co-operatives in the Kilimanjaro region and failed to develop them renting them out to Wananchi, to grow beans and Maize.
According to the Guardian, Kikwete has directed Kilimanjaro regional authorities to terminate contracts of foreign investors who have undertaken to develop large-scale coffee plantations and have failed to deliver them as per agreement.
“It is very surprising that an investor who had entered an agreement to develop coffee plantations fails to undertake farming as per the terms of the contract and instead decides to lease the farm to wananchi to cultivate maize and beans. This is against the agreements …if an investor had failed to develop the farms it was better for the contracts to be terminated to allow primary cooperative societies to take over’’.
Kikwete’s concern is indeed surprising given his failure over the past four years to intervene in the infamous Silverdale Farm case in order to protect the interests of British investors Stewart Middleton and Sarah Hermitage where it is clear, that corruption and abuse of legal process on the part of the Kyeeri, Uswa Mamba and Shari co-operative societies together with Mr. Benjamin Mengi has led to the total destruction of farming investment and coffee development.
In 1999 the Kyeri, Shari and Uswa Mamba co-operative societies issued Mengi with a 60 year lease which he assigned in 2004 to the British investors with the full written permission of the societies.
Having been paid, Mengi forced the investors from the country by violence and abuse of law. The co-operative societies took rent from the investors and then refused to recognise them stating the meaning of assignment was that Mengi had assigned certain tasks to the investors to carry out on the farms.
Having invaded the farm illegally, an act sanctioned by the regional crime officer, regional police commissioner and Kikwete himself, Mengi then leased the entire 500 acre intensive farming unit to local villagers to grow beans and maize and in fact anything they so choose to do. He is using the farm to keep his cattle and is systematically cutting down every single tree on the farm which now resembles a farming catastrophe as the adjoining Lambo Estate.
In fact, Mengi is doing exactly what Kikwete condemns i.e. cultivating short term crops like cereals, maize
and beans to get money fast!!!!!
So much for Kilimo Kwanza!!!!
Once again, it is one law for the Wananchi and another for Mengi!
JK irked by `fake` coffee investors
By Jackson Kimambo
President Jakaya Kikwete has directed Kilimanjaro regional authorities to terminate contracts of foreign investors who undertook to develop large-scale coffee plantations but had failed to deliver as per agreement. Kikwete gave the order after he was told by the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner, Monica Mbega that the investors had failed to abide by the contracts they had entered into with 14 primary cooperatives societies in the region. “It is very surprising that an investor who had entered an agreement to develop coffee plantations fails to undertake farming as per the terms of the contract and instead decides to lease the farm to wananchi to cultivate maize and beans. This is against the agreements,” he said. He said if an investor had failed to develop the farms it was better for the contracts to be terminated to allow primary cooperative societies to take over. “If they have failed to fulfill what was agreed it is better to terminate the contracts and instead primary cooperative societies be given the chance to run the farms by providing wananchi land to cultivate their crops,” the president directed. Kikwete said if the societies are handed over the farms, they would in a short time have enough funds to run them. “It is shocking. Do we need middlemen to work on the societies’ behalf? It is better that these farms be returned to the cooperative societies,” insisted the president. In her report to the president, the Regional Commissioner said out of 41 large-scale coffee farms which had been privatized back in 1971 and handed over to primary cooperative societies, 15 of them were being taken care of by 15 investors and were all doing well. She said performance of 12 others was between 41per cent and 79 percent while 14 farms were performing below 40 per cent. “Investors of these 14 farms have been leasing the farms to the local people here to cultivate short term crops like cereals, maize and beans for them (investors) to get money fast,” said the RC. Mbega said the investors had already been advised of the plans to terminate their contracts to allow the government to look for other investors who will be able to run the farms efficiently.
She said the regional authorities had directed district commissioners to supervise the termination of the contracts and to look for ways to get other investors capable of running the farms.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
2nd June 2010