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Ex-deputy minister Karoro trial kicks off

by Staff reporter
12 Feb 2024 at 17:16hrs | Views
Former Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development deputy minister Douglas Karoro's trial kicked off at the Harare magistrates' court yesterday.

He is being charged with Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Mushumbi Pools depot assistant manager Lovejoy Ngowe.

GMB regional enterprise risk officer Norman Severa appeared as the state's first witness.

Karoro and Ngowe allegedly mismanaged agricultural inputs under the Presidential Inputs Scheme worth US$43 000 in March last year.

The inputs were meant to benefit farmers in his Mbire constituency.

Severa told the court that trucks which were being used by the pair to carry the consignments were not contracted by GMB which was against the company's procedure.

He told the court that he did not know were the consignments were going adding that they are no records on the beneficiary lists to indicate how they were distributed.

Karoro allegedly collected seed from Ngowe on several occasions using his cars and having the seed marked on the dispatch vouchers as for the needy in the constituency.

The two allegedly converted the inputs to their own use.

Ngowe was allegedly found in possession of maize seed in his house at GMB Mushumbi Pools.

GMB is said to have lost US$18 030 worth of maize seed due to karoro and Ngowe's illicit deals.

It is further alleged that in March 2022, Karoro and Ngowe allegedly met at Mahuwe Shopping Centre in Mushumbi Pools to grab vegetable seed kits.

On March 23, 2022, Karoro allegedly received 5 000 vegetable combo kits comprising seed for rape, onion, Texas Grano and carrots nantes and was supposed to hand them over to GMB Mushumbi depot under the Presidential Inputs Programme.

Karoro and Ngowe allegedly failed to deliver the vegetable combo kits and converted them to their own use with Ngowe reportedly ordering subordinates to enter fraudulent details into the records.

GMB was prejudiced US$25 000 worth of seed due to the alleged misrepresentation.

The matter was deferred to March 11 for continuation.

Source - newsday
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