Zimbabwe: Grain Marketing Board Boss Allegedly Connives With Minister in U.S.$733 390 Fraud Deal

Grain Marketing Board (GMB) assistant manager at Mushumbi depot was Friday dragged to court answering to US$733 390 fraud.

Lovejoy Ngowe (49) appeared before magistrate Yeukai Dzuda, who remanded him in custody to Monday for bail application.

The Agriculture deputy minister, Douglas Karoro, is also implicated in the scandal.

Karoro was arrested Friday and due to appear in court.

It is alleged that in April this year, Karoro allegedly sold Compound D fertilizer to one Widdorn Chiodza.

Karoro allegedly sent Dean Zimunya to collect US$10 700 paid by Chiodza for the fertilizer, but the minister did not deliver the fertiliser.

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It is alleged Karoro said the fertiliser was at Mushumbi GMB.

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 homestead.

It is alleged that Zimunya called Chiodza to return the fertiliser saying the deal had gone bad.

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.

Kororo is alleged to have first supplied 400 bags in exchange for 400 bags of Ammonium Nitrate.

Another exchange of the remaining 300 bags was done and it is alleged Ngowe confirmed that Mushumbi GMB had not received the 400 bags, hence Zhoya asked Kroro to return the 400 bags of Ammonium.

Karoro is alleged to have returned half of the bags and replaced the other half with 69x50kg bags of cotton calcium ammonium nitrate and 132x50kg bags of calcium ammonium nitrate.

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 accused and Karoro also allegedly committed another count by not delivering 5000 vegetable combo kits to their destination and kept for their personal use.

Fake 501x50kg bags of fertilizer were recovered and the goods stolen are worth US$27 300.

The GMB attained a loss of US$18 030 and nothing was recovered.

Prosecutors allege US$25 000 was also lost by the GMB and nothing was recovered on the last count.

The receipts and vouchers were put in Karoro's name.

Artmotion S.Africa

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