Mazabuka District Commissioner Eugene Munyama has expressed displeasure at the manner in which police in the area are handling a case involving the theft of more than K12,000 paid by farmers for the purchase of farming inputs.
Mr Munyama told ZANIS in an interview in Mazabuka that the conduct of police officers at the Central police station leaves much to be desired.
Mr Munyama said there was overwhelming evidence linking the cooperative committee members to the theft of the money paid by the farmers.
It is alleged the some named committee members for JIHIBA Cooperative in chief Mwanchingwala’s area collected more than K12,000 from farmers on pretext that they would supply them with famers inputs from the government sponsored Fertilizer Input Support Program ( FISP).
However the committee led by a Mr Address Mweenda has to date failed to supply the 120 bags of inputs which are still marooned at the district marketing cooperative storage shed despite farmers paying the required amount in full.
Mr. Munyama who was stormed by thirteen out of the sixty affected farmers charged that the police despite receiving a complaint from the farmers over a week ago have not moved in to arrest the people behind the theft.
The District Commissioner said he was particularly disappointed to note that farmers despite the distance they are made to walk have been made to continue patronizing the police station giving evidence which the police have failed to use in the matter.
And in a petition to the District Commissioner by the farmers, group representative Tabitha Kasonde said the farmers wanted to register their displeasure over the way the police have handled issues surrounding the money they paid to the committee.
Ms Kasonde stated that they were seeking the intervention of the district Commissioner’s office because they have done whatever they could but that police have not shown interest to bring the culprits to book.
She said the police despite recording their statement’s have continued postponing the case demanding that they could only move in and arrest the culprits once the entire membership of 60 members have given police their statements.
Efforts to get a comment from Mazabuka District Police Officer Commanding Serah Muyoba proved futile as her mobile phone went unanswered by press time.
And Patriotic Front District Chairperson Gift Hanziba has appealed to the police to move in swiftly and arrest the committee members that are suspected to have misappropriated the funds as the action has tarnished the image of government with regards to distribution of farming inputs.
Photo Credit – Paul Shalala.