LUPANE — A senior Zanu PF senior official in Lupane was on Monday slapped with a 15-month jail term for stealing 35 bags of fertiliser donated to communal farmers by President Robert Mugabe.
Peter Ndlovu (51) of Muchekwa village in Jotsholo, Lupane, was jailed following his plea of guilty to theft when he appeared before Lupane resident magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba.
He was sentenced to an effective 15-month prison term. Ndlovu is Zanu PF treasurer for Lupane district.
The court heard that on November 4, President Mugabe donated 35 bags of compound D fertiliser, among other farm inputs for distribution among communal farmers in Jotsholo area of Lupane. Ndlovu, entrusted with the duty of distributing the inputs, diverted 35 bags of fertiliser and utilised them.
It is the State case that Ndlovu sold 32 bags to a yet-to-be-identified person and used the remaining three to pay people he had hired to load the stolen bags into a truck.
Police received a tip-off about the offence and arrested Ndlovu on November 10. In mitigation, Ndlovu told the court he regretted committing the crime claiming he could not resist the temptation.
He also apologised to his party and openly indicated he had betrayed the trust Zanu PF had put in him. A few months ago, another senior Zanu PF official, John Khumalo, was arrested for allegedly stealing three community water pumps.
The matter is still pending at the courts. Khumalo is the party’s Matabeleland North secretary for legal affairs. Sanders Sibanda prosecuted.