Zengeza man in $81k fertiliser scam

HARARE - A Zengeza man allegedly connived with four accomplices to defraud Ferts, Seeds and Grains (Private) Ltd of $81 000 worth of fertiliser which was meant for the Malawian government. 

Decent Dembeza, 38, of 117 Chakanyuka Road, Zengeza 3 in Chitungwiza appeared before Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe on Friday facing fraud charges.

The matter was stood down pending his bail application.

Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira alleged that sometime in August last year, Ferts, Seeds and Grains was contracted to transport 12 358 tonnes of Bosveld NPK fertiliser from Zimbabwe to Malawi on behalf of Malawian government by V and M grains of South Africa.

The fertiliser was off-loaded at Sand P Logistics bonded warehouse at National Railways yard in Harare while in transit to Malawi by road.

On November 1 last year, Dembeza’s accomplice Leeno Chiluba, who is still at large, offered to transport the fertiliser to Malawi using a company called Timbe Translogistics of Zambia.

On November 5, Dembeza, Chiluba, Peacemark Zunzanyika, Brian Edmore Nhengu, Edmore Chadamoyo and Kelvin Fungai Makonzagoto loaded two trucks of the NPK fertiliser and took it to an unknown destination.

They loaded another truck the following day and also took it to an unknown destination.

On November 16, detectives from CID Mvurwi arrested Nhengu, Zunzanyika, Chadamoyo and Makonzagoto and recovered 91,50kgs of Bosveld NPK fertiliser.

They also impounded an ERF truck and trailer which was used to transport the fertiliser.

Police approached Ferts, Seeds and Grains and informed them that they had recovered fertiliser suspected to have been stolen from the company.

In February 2014, complainant reconciled his records and discovered that the three truck loads had not reached the destination and reported the matter to the police.

Investigations carried out with Zambian Vehicle Registry revealed that the registration plates which were affixed to the trucks were non-existent.

The stolen fertiliser was valued at $81 000 and $4 095 was recovered.

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