HARARE – Four cheeky suspects were arrested last week accused of repackaging and selling bags of fertiliser sourced under the President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s free farming input scheme while mixed with anthill granules.
For the act, Johanne Mupope, 40, Shacky Gombe, 35, Sean Joubert, 32 and Charles Gumbeze, 41 were charged with fraud and unlawful possession of presidential farming inputs.
Police acted on a report of suspiciously packaged 450x50kgs of Kynoch tobacco blend fertiliser which had been delivered to two complainants in Banket.
“Police made some follow-ups leading to the arrest of two suspects, Johanne Mupope and Shacky Gombe, who had delivered the fertilisers from Harare to the complainants,” police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in a statement.
The suspects led the detectives to Tynwald Plots, Harare, where Joubert, together with eight others, were caught red handed blending and mixing Windmill compound D, Superfert Compound D and Superfert Cotton Blend fertilizers.
It is alleged that the fertilizers had been given to farmers under the current Presidential Farming Inputs Scheme, better known as Pfumvudza, and were mixed with anthill granules before being packaged in counterfeit Kynoch branded 50kg bags allegedly manufactured in Mbare, Harare.
Joubert implicated Gumbeze as the supplier of the fake product.
He then indicated that he got the fertiliser from farmers in Rutenga, Chiredzi, and Bulawayo.
Police recovered 362x50kgs of Kynoch counterfeit tobacco blend fertilizer, 240x50kgs of anthill granules, 90x50kgs mixed presidential inputs fertilizers, 652x50kgs Kynock branded empty bags, one electric sewing machine, 12 volts battery, an inverter, one roll sewing thread and US$14 570-00 at the suspects’ Tynwald premise.
Police urged farmers to buy farming inputs from reputable suppliers and warned those abusing inputs sourced from government’s Presidential Farming Inputs Scheme that the law will take its course.