By Simbarashe Sithole
Guruve Residents Association chairperson Mackswell Basiyawo (44) yesterday appeared in court facing charges of disrupting a Command Agricultural input distribution exercise.
Basiyawo, who is facing a charge of disorderly conduct in a public place, pleaded not guilty before Guruve magistrate Shingirai Mutiro, who remanded him out of custody to August 5.
For the State, Carson Kundiona alleged that on January 16, Basiyawo stormed the Guruve administrator (DA)’s office, where farmers were scheduled to receive 100 litres of diesel coupons each, but were subsequently issued 40 litres each.
In a fit of rage, the accused disrupted an address by Command Agriculture officials by shouting that they were corrupt and in the habit of stealing inputs from farmers.
There was chaos at the venue when Basiyawo said he was there to make sure that all the farmers receive the right quantities of fuel.
Police officers wrestled with him and handcuffed him before and took him to the police station.
His lawyer Enest Jena, from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, said the accused was guarding the nation’s resources in line with the government policy of zero tolerance to corruption.
“Your Worship, it is every citizen’s responsibility to guard the nation’s resources, hence command fuel was being diverted to influential people at the expense of the farmers. As chairperson of the Combined Residents Association, I was mandated to protect the farmers from the corrupt activities at the DA’s offices,” Basiyawo said.