Tuesday, 30 October 2018

PRESIDENTIAL INPUTS LOOTERS ARRESTED

FIVE suspects have been arrested in Binga District, Matabeleland North province, for unlawful possession of 300x50kg bags of fertiliser worth thousands of dollars being distributed to villagers under the Presidential Inputs Scheme.

The gang was found at around 8PM on Sunday in possession of Superfert Compound D fertilisers and Kynoch 34, 5% Ammonium Nitrate fertilisers.

Investigations revealed that the suspects were buying the fertiliser at $15 bond and EcoCash and were going to resell each bag for US$30 in Chinhoyi where the commodity is said to be in high demand.

The suspects who were arrested at Manjolo Business Centre were identified as Martha Mazanhi (32), Simbarashe Zhou (22), More Nyirenda (40), all of Chinhoyi; Sanyetsan Zhou (20) of Kariba and Alexander Rwodzi (46) of Bulawayo.


They ferried the inputs in a red ERF15 tonne truck, registration number ADR0596, that was hired from someone in Chinhoyi.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese confirmed the arrest of the five suspects.

“Police are investigating a case which involves theft of the Presidential Inputs by five suspects from various places. They will appear in court soon,” she said.

Chief Insp Makonese said this was day light robbery which at the end of the day would hamper the success of the Command Agriculture scheme.

“By the time we receive rains, these con artists would have deprived the farmers permanently. We thank members of the public for assisting police with information that led to the arrest of the suspects. We urge them to continue being loyal to government to curb corruption.

“Provision of tip-offs on any suspicious incidents of crime helps us to curb extortion and corruption cases,” she said.

Chief Insp Makonese applauded the Officer-in-Charge of Binga District, Chief Superintendent Cyprian Mukahanana and his team for the hard work they are doing.

A source said at around 8PM on Sunday, police received a tip-off to the effect that the five accused persons were in possession of fertilisers which they were transporting to Chinhoyi after buying them from Binga communities.

“The investigations team reacted swiftly resulting in the arrest of the suspects who were found in possession of the inputs. The suspects indicated that they had been buying the inputs from villagers in two wards of Binga, between September and October 24.

In January this year, two government officials in Tsholotsho district, Matabeleland North province, were arrested for allegedly stealing seed and fertiliser worth more than $23 000 being distributed to farmers under the Presidential Inputs Scheme.

The suspects were arrested after allegedly admitting to stealing soya seed and compound D fertiliser at Tsholotsho Grain Marketing Board depot. The inputs were meant for Mbamba Ward 15 farmers. Chronicle

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