Trio nabbed over 33t Command Agric inputs

Source: Trio nabbed over 33t Command Agric inputs | The Herald January 9, 2017

Fungai Lupande: Court Reporter

Three suspected thieves who diverted a truckload of 33,6 tonnes of Command Agriculture fertiliser and herbicides meant to benefit 51 Mashonaland West farmers appeared in court last Friday.Tafirenyika Mariga (43), Hilda Masamba (34) and Kumbirai Duku (36) were charged with fraud when they appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.

They were remanded in custody to today for bail application. The court heard that last year, Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, initiated the Command Agriculture Programme.

The scheme is meant to boost food security in the country by providing farming inputs to targeted farmers. Prosecutor Ms Audrey Chogumaira told the court that the ministry recommended targeted farmers in Makonde district, Mashonaland West, to come together in order for them to access Command Agriculture inputs.

It is alleged that 51 farmers in that district formed themselves into a group, which they named Chimurenga. On December 5 last year, the group was instructed by Agritex Chinhoyi to collect 33,6 metric tonnes of Compound D fertiliser and Atrazin herbicides from Harare.

The court heard that four days later, Christopher Manuwere, Petros Mutenga and the group’s secretary, Christopher Tadzimirwa, went to Windmill in Harare to collect the farming inputs.

The fertiliser was worth $16 800. The trio sought a truck to hire and was referred to Mariga, who allegedly met Manuwere at Windmill and charged them $650 for the trip to Shubhara Farm in Makonde.

A deposit of $400 was paid, while the balance of $250 was supposed to be paid upon delivery. Manuwere was issued with a delivery note indicating the details of the driver.

In connivance with Masamba, Mariga contacted Manuwere and advised him to wait for them at Westgate roundabout along the Harare-Chirundu Highway where he would pick him up on their way to Makonde.

It is alleged that Mariga, Masamba and the truck driver left Windmill with the loaded truck. Mariga later sent $14 to Manuwere through EcoCash and ordered him to hire a taxi, while advising him that he had gone to Banket and the truck was on its way.

In the meantime, Mariga and his accomplices diverted the truck to Murehwa where the consignment was sold. They hired Panganai Maringa, who is on the run, to sell the consignment. Tadzimirwa waited for the truck along the Harare-Chirundu Road, but when it did not appear he proceeded to make a report to the police on December 10.

About $17 350 was lost and nothing was recovered. Duku was arrested last Wednesday and implicated his co-accused.


  • comment-avatar

    We wish our courts could met out the harshest possible punishment to these criminals; and the sooner these thieves are locked up the better. Also, they should not only be locked up but pay back the stolen monies in full. It really does not help to allow criminals to continue benefiting and living large from proceeds of their criminal activities while innocent victims get poorer. It’s high time our laws emphasized both punishment & restitution concurrently if we are to fight this theft scourge now ravaging our country. Truth is, most Zimbo criminals do not seem to worry about going to jail as long as they will keep their ill-gotten valuables or millions. They would rather go and serve time, come out and live like kings (the Wicknel Chivhayo mentality). So, mere sending such criminals to jail does not help – it should be both jail and restitution. Nxaaaaaaa.

  • comment-avatar

    Jail is not the answer – the firing squad is – problem solved – no upkeep – is that what we not do with pests – eradicate the plague of locusts otherwise they will be on our back door step to eat our last crumbs!

  • comment-avatar
    Dunlop Munjanja 5 years ago

    That’s the way things are done in Zim today, steal, steal and steal. Example has been set by those who would run the country.

  • comment-avatar

    But these are Zanu darlings just doing a bit of Affirmative Shopping as taught by Bobbsie, Gracie and Scoonsie – what is all the fuss about. They are simply following the example of their masters…..