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MARDEF Credit Officer Arrested for Stealing Fertilizer

February 26, 2014

Watson Maingo

Salima Police on Friday arrested a Malawi Rural Development Fund (MARDEF) Credit Officer at Salima District Council on suspicion that he connived with certain people to form fake farmers groups and obtain fertilizers loan from his organization, which he later sold on the market.

The fertilizer was meant for the newly introduced Farm Input Loan Program (FILP) which is aimed at benefiting rural farmers who did not benefit from the Farm input Subsidy Program (FISP).

Confirming the arrest on Tuesday, Salima Police Public Relations Officer, Gift Chitowe, said the suspect has since been released on bail pending further investigations.

Chitowe identified the suspect as Mphatso Ammon, 38, from Mbewa Village, Traditional Authority (TA) Kayembe in Dowa District.

According Chitowe an audit inquiry that was instituted by MARDEF after a tip off from the general public established that the suspect formed about seven fake groups and approved them to receive the fertilizer.

"Officials from MARDEF who alerted police to arrest the suspect, told us that they were tipped by the general public that the suspect was defrauding his organisation by forming fake clubs and obtaining fertilizers which he was sending to unknown destination," said Chitowe.

The suspect is believed to have obtained 170 bags of fertilizer worth K2, 890, 000.

The suspect will soon be taken to court for hearing of the case soon after investigations are completed.

According to sources from the Salima Mardef Office, the office has distributed loans to 500 farmers' clubs, but their target was 1, 000 farmers clubs. This case is expected to expose if all the 500 clubs are genuine clubs.

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Source: AllAfrica

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