LOCAL NEWS

THREE PRESIDENTIAL INPUTS THIEVES NABBED IN BANKET

Three people have been arrested in the Banket area on allegations of stealing inputs delivered under the Presidential Inputs Scheme to small-scale farmers in the area.

The three individuals were arrested after alert members from a Zanu PF affiliate, Forever Associates of Zimbabwe (FAZ), realised that some legitimate beneficiaries settled on a farm in the area had not received their allocation of fertilisers despite Government sending in the right quantities.

Police deputy provincial spokesperson for Mashonaland West, Assistant Inspector Ian Kohwera, confirmed the arrest of the three suspects and applauded FAZ members for alerting them.

He warned those in the habit of abusing Government inputs that the full wrath of the law will descend on them heavily if caught on the wrong side of the law.

“I would like to commend FAZ members for working with us and bringing the culprits to us,” said Asst Inp Kohwera. “Let me confirm the arrest of three suspects who are to appear in court in due course to answer to the charges. It is very important for communities to work closely with the police so as to prevent crime.”

Recounting how they recovered the inputs, FAZ member Mr Tadiwanashe Mudzingwa said out of the 40 bags of fertiliser that should have been distributed on Temple Wheat Farm, the trio only issued 21 and kept 19 bags for their personal use.

“I received a phone call from our team leader Cde (Winnie) Tapfumaneyi that some beneficiaries of the Presidential Inputs Scheme had not received their allocations at Temple Wheat Farm,” he said.

“I then went to the farm and met the one who had distributed the fertilisers. After initially denying that he had short-changed some beneficiaries, he later admitted that he had connived with two other men to divert 19 bags of fertiliser.

“He then gave us the names of the 21 people he had distributed the fertilisers to and we cross-checked with them and confirmed that they had indeed received the fertiliser. We then proceeded to the home of one of the accomplices and recovered 18 bags of fertilisers, while one is outstanding.

“After this, we took the three individuals to Banket Police Station where they were arrested and gave statements and we expect them to appear in court soon.”

Mr Mudzingwa said it was unfortunate that people entrusted with distributing Government inputs ended up converting them to their own use.

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