Command Agriculture inputs abusers jailed


TWO Filabusi villagers have been slapped with 42 months jail term each for stealing the Command Agriculture inputs donated to 71 farmers in Insiza.


Mthokozisi Dladla (44) an Agriculture ministry extension worker had been dragged to court together with villagers, Joyce Mthunzi (64)from Siyabalandela and Morgan Bhebhe (49), chairperson of Phelandaba North section at Silalabuhwa Irrigation Scheme for allegedly abusing the command agriculture programme inputs worth $4 030 allocated to 71 farmers in the Insiza district of Matabeleland South.

They all pleaded not guilty to the offence when they appeared before Filabusi resident magistrate Mzingaye Moyo.

However, last week at the close of the State case the magistrate acquitted Dladla.

He then found Mthunzi and Bhebhe guilty after overwhelming evidence pointed to the fact that they committed the offence at the close of the State’s case.

Moyo said the State established that the two committed the offence.

The magistrate sentenced each of them to 42 months in jail.

Twelve months of the sentence were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.

A further 12 months was suspended on condition each accused pay
$2 000 as restitution to Agritex on or before July 13.

The remaining 18 months were suspended on condition each accused person performs 420 hours community service at Ntunte and Mbokodo primary schools respectively.

Prosecutor Jethro Mada told the court that on November 29, 2016, Bhebhe signed for and received 18 200kg of Ammonium Nitrate fertiliser.

He together with Mthunzi took the fertilizers to Silalatshani where they distributed the fertiliser to 71 farmers under the command agriculture programme.
There was a surplus of 6 500kg which they diverted to their own use.