A CHEGUTU councillor, two soldiers and a police officer have been arrested for allegedly diverting $1,1 million worth of inputs meant for small scale farmers under Government’s Climate Proofed Presidential Inputs programme (Pfumvudza).
A general hand at Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot in Chegutu, two Agritex extension workers and a transporter were also arrested. They allegedly inflated the list of beneficiaries using names of non-existent farmers before grabbing tonnes of inputs. Councillor (Independent) for Ward 23 Ngoni Mupfudza (51), two Master Sergeants at Jason Ziyapapa Moyo Airbase – Perfect Dhliwayo (36) and Talent Chiota, two Agritex employees – Margret Manda (49) and Patricia Chemhazo (53), a general had at GMB Pepukai Mamvura (26), Constable Bridget Mutondoro of ZRP Chegutu and a transporter Dominic Zinyakatira appeared at Chegutu Magistrates Court and were freed on bail.
They were not asked to plead to theft.
The eight were attached to the Presidential Inputs Scheme distribution programme.
The soldiers and the police are responsible for escorting agricultural inputs under Pfumvudza programme in and around Chegutu.
Allegations are that between September 7 and October 26 this year, the eight inflated the list of Pfumvudza inputs beneficiaries using names of non-existent farmers in Wards 12 to 29 of Chegutu.
They would grab and share all the extra AN fertilizer, Compound D fertilizer and seed maize.
Arresting the suspects, detectives recovered 242 x 50kg bags of fertiliser, 80 x50kg bags of lime and 15kgs of seed maize.
Police acted on a tip-off and tracked the suspects to their houses where some of the exhibits were recovered.
Others were caught while loading the loot in trucks, while other inputs were recovered from storerooms.
The eight now await trial.