Chirumanzu DDC arrested, suspended over relief aid

Elizabeth Mashiri/ Sydney Mubaiwa

Midlands Bureau

Gweru – Chirumanzu District Development Coordinator (DDC) Vafias Hlabati was suspended yesterday and this follows his recent arrest over alleged abuse of Government food aid and inputs.

Efforts to get Hlabati’s comment were futile.

Meanwhile Hlabati also appeared before Gweru Magistrate Edwin Marecha on Monday over the same issue. He allegedly allocated Pfumvudza Government inputs and food aid to Zibagwe Member of Parliament Prosper Machando and other undeserving recipients.

The alleged scam involves the diversion of 1 249 bags of fertilizers, 53 320 bags of maize seed, 233 bags of lime, cowpeas, tick grease, vegetable seeds, sorghum seeds, army worm chemical, knapsacks and soya seeds.

He is being jointly charged together with Agritex Officer Caristo Masiiwa who also appeared in court on the same day. Masiiwa is also facing theft charges after he allegedly sold Government aid for personal gain.

Hlabati was released on RTGS$20 000 bail.

It is the State case that from September 2020 to March 2021, the two working together and contrary to their duties as public officers allocated inputs to non-deserving people like Machando, Jays Mavhundutse, T. Sithole and others.

They will came back to court on April 22, 2021.

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