GMB employees up for fraud

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LUPANE- A Grain Marketing Board (GMB) employee allegedly connived with two Veterinary Services Department employees and two Victoria Falls men to defraud the GMB of 3,6 tonnes of fertiliser on the pretext it was for farm inputs loan scheme applicants, a Lupane court heard on Tuesday.

The GMB clerk, Patricia Ncube (33), Veterinary Services employees, Muchaneta Makwarimba (29) andLeticia Kandawasvika (29), all residing at Lupane Ministry of Transport camp, as well as Maxwell Phiri (36) and Wellington Chimande (29), both of Victoria Falls, were not asked to plead to fraud charges when they appeared before Matabeleland North provincial magistrate John Masimba.

They were remanded out of custody on $60 bail each to January 31. They were ordered not to go to GMB, not to interfere with potential witnesses, to reside at the given addresses and report to the police once on Wednesdays each week until their case is finalised.

The court heard between January 6 and 13 this year, Ncube, Makwarimba, Kandawasvika, Phiri and Chimande allegedly connived to defraud GMB of fertiliser.

It is the State case Makwarimba and Kandawasvika fabricated a list of persons purported to be farm inputs loan applicants and handed over the list to Ncube who released 72 bags of 50kg of fertiliser to alleged clients, Phiri and Chimande whom she had solicited.

The two loaded the fertiliser on a Bulawayo-bound truck which was ferrying coal. The matter came to light after police got wind that a truck carrying coal was seen entering GMB premises raising suspicion there was something amiss.

Policemen intercepted the truck and recovered the 72 bags of fertiliser, leading to the arrest of Phiri and Chimande. Phiri implicated Ncube whom he claimed sold the fertiliser to them, leading to her arrest.

Ncube allegedly implicated Makwarimba and Kandawasvika as having prouced fake names of applicants and they were also arrested.
Sanders Sibanda prosecuted.