Karoro case: Investigations complete

04 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
Karoro case: Investigations complete former Deputy Minister, Douglas Karoro

H-Metro

Zvikomborero Parafini

THE State yesterday advised the court that investigations into the matter in which former Deputy Minister, Douglas Karoro, is accused of defrauding the Grain Marketing Board, are now complete.

Karoro, Lovejoy Ngowe, Mugove Chidamba, Jeremy Phiri and Dean Zimunya appeared before Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje, who remanded them in custody to August 19, when a trial date will be set.

The State, represented by Kenny Madekutsikwa, told the court that they were now in possession of the docket and in the final lap of going through it before trial kicks off.

The gang is accused of defrauding GMB of 700 bags of fertiliser, US$18 000 worth of maize seed and 5 000 vegetable seed kits from the Presidential Inputs Scheme between March and April.

The State alleges that the abused inputs came from Mushumbi Pools Depot in Mbire, Mashonaland Central Province, and were intended for farmers.

It is alleged that in April, Karoro approached Phiri and told him that he was looking for buyers for 700 bags of Compound D fertiliser at US$16 per 50kg bag.

Phiri is said to have contacted Widdorn Chiodza, who was interested in buying the fertiliser.

On April 21, Phiri, according to the State, met Chiodza, who handed over US$10 700, almost the full price.

It is alleged Phiri then took this money to Karoro, who told him that the fertiliser was at GMB Mushumbi Depot.

Karoro allegedly contacted Ngowe, stating that he would send trucks to collect his fertiliser. Chiodza allegedly went with his three trucks and collected the fertiliser and offloaded it at his home. It is alleged that Zimunya called Chiodza to return the fertiliser, saying the deal had taken a twist.

Chiodza allegedly refused and only agreed after he was visited by Mugove Chidamba, who then collected only 400 bags of fertiliser.

Karoro and Chidamba are alleged to have decided to swap the fertiliser with Ammonium Nitrate at Aspindale GMB.

Chidamba allegedly sourced another 300 bags of Compound D from Farm and City to make them 700x50kgs.

Aspindale GMB Chain Supply manager, Obert Zhoya, refused to do the swap, saying the documentation was wrong.

Zhoya is alleged to have agreed after being convinced by Karoro, but under a condition that they did a depot to depot transfer.

It is alleged that in March, Ngowe, together with Karoro, committed fraud by allegedly cheating people in Mbizo of the maize seeds provided for them under the Presidential Input programme.

The two did not deliver 5000 vegetable combo kits to their destination and kept them for their personal use.

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