A BULAWAYO man was arrested on Christmas Day after he was found with five tonnes of rice suspected to be stolen drought relief food.
Police found Simbarashe Mushava (33) with 103 bags of 50kg rice at his home in Queens Park West which is suspected to be part of the rice donated to Government by the Chinese government.
Social welfare officers in the city are cracking their heads over where Mushava got the rice, which is about four times more than what they have distributed to the vulnerable people in the city just before Christmas.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed Mushava’s arrest and said investigations were underway to establish the source of the rice.
She said detectives swooped on Mushava on Christmas Day as he was relaxing at home.
“He was arrested following a tip off from members of the public. We want to commend members of the public for continuously assisting us with information,” she said.
Insp Simango said Mushava was in custody assisting police with investigations.
Bulawayo provincial welfare officer Mr Taurai Mpofu said police informed him about the stolen rice.
“We distributed just about 1,3 tonnes of rice just before Christmas in the city so I don’t know where he got such large quantities from. What I know is that police officers are trying to establish that,” said Mr Mpofu.
He however said some of the donated rice was being delivered direct to either constituencies or wards.
The rice was donated by the Chinese Government and is supposed to benefit vulnerable members of the public under the Government’s drought relief programme.
The same rice has been donated to hospitals, prisons and other institutions catering for the needy throughout the country.