Police on Sunday intercepted a truck at Sesame Business Centre in Gokwe and recovered 1 500kg of fertiliser meant for Presidential inputs and in the same area later arrested a bus conductor found in possession of 750kg of fertilisers stashed in the boot of a bus travelling from Gokwe to Kwekwe.
At Sesame Business Centre, police said they arrested five suspects who are now assisting with investigations.
In a statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the police deployed at a roadblock at Sesame Business Centre intercepted a Scania lorry and recovered Presidential inputs comprising 30x50kg bags of Compound D Superfert being delivered from Chitekete in Gokwe to Harare for sale.
Admire Mlambo (32), Forget Matsiga (32), Ackjoe Zangaza (28), Belinda Mutero (20) and Benjamin Sikape (30) were arrested.
In the second interception, bus conductor Blessing Bonomai (28) was arrested at Mutimutema Business Centre after 15x50kg bags of Compound D fertiliser, received under the Presidential Inputs Scheme, were found in the boot of his bus travelling from Gokwe to Kwekwe.
The arrests came after an Agritex official recently went into hiding after he allegedly stole 34 bags of fertiliser, and 31 bags of maize and soya bean seed meant for Presidential inputs beneficiaries in Saruwe, Mashonaland West.
Police recovered the stolen fertiliser and seed and have launched a manhunt for Agritex officer Mugove Matemera.
They are seeking information from the public as to his possible whereabouts.
He is suspected of stealing 26x50kg Compound D fertiliser, 8x50kg top dressing, 24x10kg maize seed and 7x10kg soya beans seed.
In January this year, three employees of the Grain Marketing Board were arrested on allegations of stealing 9,5 tonnes of fertiliser worth US$7 000 meant for the Presidential Inputs Scheme in Hwange. Philani Ndlovu (47), Calvin Kuedzisa (22) and Tafara Kudengeya had allegedly stolen 190x 50kg bags of fertilise in Hwange.
Out of the US$7 000 worth of fertiliser stolen, US$6 631,60 has been recovered.
Last month, the Grain Marketing Board warned those receiving free inputs under the Presidential Inputs Scheme against selling them as they are meant to enhance productivity levels at their plots.
Rewards are now on offer to encourage whistleblowers who report illegal deals.
In a statement, GMB said free Presidential inputs were not for sale and beneficiaries are supposed to use the inputs well on their farms. Herald