BINDURA — Three Grain Marketing Board (GMB) employees based in Bindura were last week sentenced to three years each for stealing 200 bags of fertiliser intended for beneficiaries of the government’s agriculture input scheme.
BY HAZVINEI MWANAKA
One year of the sentence was suspended for five years on condition the accused do not commit a similar offence within that period.
Another two years were suspended on condition the three restitute US$2 266, 67 to the State before May 30 this year.
The three — Tapiwa Sachinda (37), Collen Vapulinyu (40) and Mavis Munetsi (32) — appeared before Bindura Magistrate, Ruramai Chitumbura.
Sachinda, Vapulinyu and Munetsi — who were depot manager, supervisor and security officer respectively — resided at GMB Tafuna Quarters.
Prosecutor Blessing Mutsago told the court that on December 31 last year, Vapulinyu compiled commodity dispatching vouchers with serial number 286457 purporting to have dispatched 200 x 50kg Omnia compound D fertiliser to one Douglas Gonoremvuu.
Gonoremvuu is the councillor for Shamva Ward 11. He is also Ward chairman for the government’s agricultural inputs scheme for the farming season 2013-2014 for Ward 11 responsible for receiving and distributing inputs to beneficiaries.
The court also heard that on the same day the third accused, Munetsi, who was on duty sold the fertiliser to one Paradzai Mhuri for US$5 200.
The three shared the money among themselves. The fertiliser was later delivered to Mhuri’s Farm, Fert Hardware in Bindura and was later resold for US$6 800.
Police received a tip off on January 12 this year and investigations led to the arrest of the three.
The total value of the stolen fertiliser was US$6 800 and nothing has been recovered.