Joseph Made

Dr. Joseph Mtakwese Made (born 21 November 1954)[1] is a Zimbabwean politician and Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) member who is currently serving as Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. He has served as the minister in ministries related to agriculture since 2000. Made is mostly known to have led the ministry in a decade of inadequate harvest from Zimbabwe's agriculture.


Background

Joseph Made was born on 21 November 1954. He is married to Patricia.[2]


Political career

Joseph Made was Agricultural Rural Development Authority’s (ARDA)Chief Executive Officer and was also well versed with the land issue as one of ARDA's main responsibilities was training farmers and implementing rural development programmes.[3] He was involved in the negotiations for the 1998 agreement on land redistribution. President Robert Mugabe appointed him Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement in 2000.[1]

Positions Held

Joseph Made was made Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, 2000- 2007. Made was nominated as ZANU-PF's candidate f+or the House of Assembly seat from Makoni West, a constituency in Manicaland, in the March 2008 parliamentary election. He was defeated by Webber Chinyadza of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Tsvangirai (MDC-T). When the Government of National Unity (GNU) was sworn in on February 13, 2009, Made became Minister of Agriculture again.


As Agriculture Minister

As minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Made is reported to have led the ministry in a time when the country experienced food shortages because of recurrent droughts, shortage of inputs and poor government support mechanisms.[4] He is also known for having taken a helicopter trip around the country and on that basis declared the country was about to enjoy a bumper maize harvest, only for the country to experience poor harvests.[5][6]

As Agriculture minister Made was part of a 2005 'War Cabinet' that was described by President Robert Mugabe as the worst Cabinet in his reign.[7]

Comments on the Fast Track Land Redistribution

As the controversial fast track land redistribution exercise went on in Zimbabwe. Made is said to have commented that the Zimbabwean government would not compensate the white farmers. Made told told South Africa’s media that any payment of compensation to farmers evicted from their farms would be up to the British government. Made said that Zimbabwe’s government would pay for “improvements” (the buildings, fencing, dams, etc.) but could only afford to pay 25 percent now and the balance over 5 years.[8]

Allegations of Corruption

Citing highly placed sources at ARDA sections of the media made revelations that Made continued earning a salary from the ARDA after leaving the institution 10 years before. The said salary was a thank you for managing President Robert Mugabe's farms.[9]

Made was also reported to have presided over the looting of ARDA assets, among them land, tractors, combine harvesters, fuel and vehicles channeling them to senior Zanu Pf officials amongst them the president and to his own two farms in Manicaland province’s Headlands area.[9]

Made is accused of having failed to rein in corruption at the Grain Marketing Board, which resulted in the corrupt selling of inputs meant for farmers as well as outright failure to ensure food security since 2000.[7]

Refusal to embrace Genetically Modified Food Technologies

In 2013, after calls by some ministers for the government to consider producing Genetically Modified Food to increase the country's food security, Made refused to lift a ban on Genetically Modified Food methods insisting instead that government would concentrate on making available fertilizer, seeds, irrigation and other essential farm inputs to boost food production rather than use means that he said would have a detrimental impact on the environment. Made argued that GMF was cheaper to produce, but costly in the long-term as they contaminated the environment and harmed biodiversity.[10]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Joseph Mtakwese Made, Africa Confidential, Retrieved:24 March 2014
  2. 35 off sanctions list
  3. Joseph Made
  4. Veneranda Langa, Agriculture minister Made lied about bumper maize harvest: Mliswa, NewsDay, Published:24 March 2014, Retrieved:25 March 2014
  5. Chido Makunike, Food as a weapon of control, New Zimbabwe, Retrieved:25 March 2014
  6. Wallace Chuma, Zimbabwe at 27: The harvest of silence, New Zimbabwe, Retrieved:25 March 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 Made: A Cat With Nine Lives, The Financial Gazette, Published:12 Sept 2013, Retrieved:25 March 2014
  8. Author, LAND-GRAB POLICY CAUSES ZIMBABWE FAMINE, WND, Published:20 Nov 2011, Retrieved:25 March 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Joseph Made Rewarded For Managing Mugabe's Farms, Radio VOP, Published:24 January 2010, Retrieved:25 March 2014
  10. Clemence Manyukwe , Made, Dzinotyiwei Clash, The Financial Gazette, Published:6 Jun 2013, Retrieved:25 March 2014