Two millers, Edwin Mwale (41) and Kudakwashe Murehwa (46), are currently in court for looting 9,735 bags of maize that were entrusted to them by Agriculture Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos for safekeeping.
Haritatos owns a farm in Kadoma, where maize cultivation is the primary focus.
The transportation of the maize from the farm to Central Bakery and Millers was entrusted to Netombo Transport Logistics Company. Upon delivery, the maize was stored in a warehouse under the supervision of Mwale and Murehwa.
According to court documents, the two suspects devised a plan to steal 9,735 50kg bags of maize, which had been placed under their custody by Haritatos. During an unspecified period between May 2023 and July 2023, the accused individuals, who were responsible for safeguarding the maize in the warehouse, collaborated to transport and take possession of 9,735 bags of maize using their own transport.
“On the dates not known to the prosecutors but sometime during the period extending from May 2023 to July 2023, the duo hatched a plan to steal 9,735 bags of 50kg maize which had been put under their custody by the complainant. The accused persons who were custodians of the maize bags in the warehouse connived and took 9,735 X 50kgs of maize bags from Central Bakery and Millers using their own transportation,” read court papers.
The incident came to light when Agriculture Deputy Minister Vangelis Haritatos conducted an internal investigation and discovered that the maize was missing. The stolen property, valued at US$163,061.25, has not been recovered.
Additionally, it is alleged that in July 2023, Mwale and the driver of Netombo Transport Logistics, Tapera Zhuwau, loaded 600 50kg bags of maize that were intended for delivery to Central Bakery Pomona, where Mwale worked. Acting together, Mwale and Zhuwau conspired to divert the maize for their personal use. The value of the stolen maize amounted to US$10,050, and none of it has been recovered.