AGRITEX officer and two others in court for agricultural scheme fraud


KAROI – Three individuals, including an officer from the Agricultural Technical and Extension Services (AGRITEX), were brought before the Karoi Magistrates' Court on fraud allegations, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). 

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The accused are Ebba Kuipa, a 37-year-old farmer from Karoi, Simon Nyathi, a 42-year-old farm worker employed by Kuipa, and Makumbi Admire, a 56-year-old AGRITEX employee. 

The charges stem from a government program launched last year by Zimbabwe's Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, and Rural Development. 

The program, aimed at supporting 100,000 hectares with farming inputs for the 2023/24 summer farming season, tasked AGRITEX with identifying and assessing eligible farmers. 

The state alleges that in January 2024, Nyathi falsely claimed to have 100 hectares under irrigation at a non-existent farm, Vuna Farm Plot 7 in Tengwe. 

Admire allegedly confirmed this misrepresentation, leading to Nyathi being contracted for the program. 

Nyathi is also accused of falsely claiming to have carried out farming activities at Senzegal Farm, receiving significant quantities of fertilizers, seed, and chemicals as a result. 

Investigations by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission revealed that Nyathi sold some of the inputs on the black market in Karoi. 

Further investigations found that Kuipa took part of the farming inputs, despite having already benefitted from the scheme. 

Bail applications for all the accused were dismissed, and the case has been adjourned until April 5, 2024.

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