GMB officials stole 500 bags of fertiliser

A Grain Marketing Board (GMB) manager and her assistant are accused of stealing 500 bags of fertilizer

By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
18 March 2014

A Grain Marketing Board (GMB) manager and her assistant are accused of stealing 500 bags of fertilizer, meant for Goromonzi farmers under the Presidential Inputs Scheme.

Manager Lillian Mudhara and her assistant at the parastatal, Godfrey Mabasa, are being charged together with ZANU PF councillor Paradzai Chogugudza and Agriculture Rural Extension officer Mark Matipano.

Chogugudza is the councillor for Ward 5 in Chinamhora, Goromonzi.

Mudhara is still at large while her co-accused appeared before Harare Magistrate Tendai Mahwe on Monday, charged with theft of property.

The three were bailed until April 3rd on $100 each. They were also ordered to report to the police twice a week, and not interfere with witnesses.

Charges against them arose after the fertilizer, which was meant for distribution under the government scheme, failed to reach the intended beneficiaries, who then made a police report.

Investigations by the police revealed that the accused had connived and sold the fertiliser to some dealers in Harare.

Police retrieved four 50kg bags from an agro-chemical shop run by Thomson Hove who had received 300 bags. At Musanhi hardware shop in Mbare, police recovered 14 bags from Tichaona Simbanegavi, who had bought 200 bags, the Herald newspaper reported Monday.

The total value of the stolen fertiliser is approximately $16,000 while the recovered bags are worth $576.

Over the past three months, the media have been exposing the corruption and looting of State-linked enterprises by public officials. There is no evidence that the government will act decisively to punish those involved, and political observers say small fish will likely be sacrificed while the big looters in government corridors go scot-free.

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