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Mnangagwa inputs abusers sentenced

by Staff reporter
31 Jan 2024 at 04:46hrs | Views
Two men have been sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labour after stealing Presidential inputs, which included 364 bags of Compound D fertiliser, from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Charandura depot.

Mvuma magistrate Ms Constance Mutandwa suspended one year of the sentence on condition that the two do not commit a similar offence again.

Titus Marange and Stephen Nhamo were arrested in Mvuma last year after police got information that they had stolen inputs. Prosecutor Mr Simbarashe Hwata told the court that on October 13, 2023,  five robbers stormed the depot where they assaulted the guards on duty and tied them up with rope.  They drove their truck into the depot and seized 364 bags of Compound D fertiliser before speeding off.

A tip-off saw police intercepting them as they drove towards Mvuma, leading to the recovery of the inputs.

The two are facing similar charges at Zhombe and Wedza where they used the same method to steal Presidential Inputs from GMB depots. Commenting after the pair's conviction yesterday, an elated GMB chief executive Dr Edson Bhadharai hailed police for their swift action which led to the arrest of the culprits.

"More of our depots could have fallen prey to these individuals had they not been accounted for swiftly," said Dr Bhadharai.

He said it was illegal for anyone to sell or purchase inputs meant for the Presidential scheme.

In a notice recently, GMB said Presidential inputs were not for sale and beneficiaries were supposed to utilise them well by planting in their areas.

"GMB wishes to remind members of the public that in terms of Statutory Instrument 247 of 2018, it is unlawful to sell or purchase inputs that are being distributed to farmers under the Presidential Inputs Programme or any contract scheme or from any unauthorised dealer.''

 Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Professor Obert Jiri urged communities to fully utilise their land and maximise production warning Agritex officers and beneficiaries against abusing Pfumvudza agricultural inputs.

He said those caught offside would face the full wrath of the law.

"We are on a crusade moving around every district and ward preaching the gospel of utilising the land and the benefits that come with adopting the Pfumvudza programme.

"Every farmer should be serious, plough, harvest and sell the surplus. We will not tolerate abuse of inputs. The rising cases of inputs abuse are worrying,'' he said.

Source - The Herald