Friday, 29 January 2021

MP IMPLICATED IN PRESIDENTIAL INPUTS THEFT

Police has summoned Chirumanzu Ward 25 councillor amid allegations that a certain faction within Zanu PF is looting Presidential inputs and Social Welfare food intended for the disadvantaged.

Villagers who spoke to The Mirror in interviews said the inputs are either sold on the black market or are given to undeserving relatives and friends. They implicated Chirumanzu MP Barbara Rwodzi, several councillors, Agritex and GMB officers.

They said the matter was anonymously reported at Charandura Police Station a few weeks ago but they feared that the case could be swept under the carpet because of the influence held by the suspects.

The Mirror is told that Police investigations have so far seen the recovery of several bags of fertiliser at Vhudzi Shopping Centre and at a councillor’s house. Police intends to use the recovered bags as exhibits in court.

Ward 25 Councillor Jairos Turika confirmed in a telephone interview that he was recently summoned by the Police to answer questions pertaining to abuse of inputs but he said he was released after it was realised that he had no case to answer.

Rwodzi refuted any involvement in the alleged scam but told The Mirror the issue was recently raised with her. She said that there will be meeting to discuss the issue tomorrow.

“I am not involved in the distribution of welfare or Presidential Inputs; that is the duty of the District Development Co-ordinator (DDC), councillor, Agritex and GMB. I only get involved when there is a problem.”

 She said that there are three councillors, one male and two females who have been implicated in the scam and they will be reported to the Police if it is established that they have a case to answer.

The Mirror visited wards 8, 9 and 25 yesterday and spoke to dozens of villagers, Government officials and businessmen who expressed anger at the alleged abuse of Government welfare programmes which they said has been going on for a long time now.

“Recently 70 bags of fertiliser were delivered under the Presidential Inputs Scheme and only 20 were accounted for. We suspect that the top six Zanu PF DDC members and some councillors diverted the bags to close relatives and friends,” said one irate villager.

Another villager said, “We have since 2018 been side-lined by the Rwodzi team in the allocation of welfare food and Presidential inputs. We reported the matter to the Police and Zanu PF seniors but there was no action taken. We are tired of these corrupt people who seem untouchable.

“It appears the MP, GMB, Extension Officers, councillors and the top six DCC members are all involved,” said another villager who requested anonymity for fear of victimisation.

The Mirror visited councillor Zvenyika Makanda at his shop at Siyahokwe for an interview but he was not there. Police arrived almost at the same time and said that they wanted to question Makanda over the inputs issue.

The officers refused to discuss the case after realising that they were talking to reporters.

Sources said that there was pressure being put to bear on the Police so that they drop the case. There are allegations that a delegation that included the DCC, Vafios Hlavati that recently went to the Police Station.

Hlavati however sad he was never to the Police station over the issue. Zanu PF DCC chairman Erasmus Jaya also refuted allegations that he was trying to influence the Police to stop the investigations.

Midlands Police spokesman, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko said he is yet to get a report from Charandura.“We are going to have a meeting tomorrow where the DDC will brief us on the issues you are raising.

“I was only told about the alleged theft of inputs recently. Three councillors are being implicated, two of them are women and the third is a male,” said Rwodzi.

“Those are just rumours going round, how can I steal inputs meant for the villagers. I went to the Police and cleared my name, they found nothing against me,” said Turika. Masvingo Mirror

 

0 comments:

Post a comment