Mzuzu Police arrest six in subsidized fertilizer theft

Mzuzu Police on Wednesday arrested six people in connection with the theft of 29 bags of subsidized fertilizers at Ruvwere satellite depot in Mzimba District.

Mzuzu Police Spokes person, Maurice Chapola said the theft of subsidized fertilizer occurred last week when suspected thieves broke into Ruvwere satellite depot and went away with 29 bags.

“The suspected thieves hacked two guards working at Ruvwere and broke into the depot where they stole the bags and managed to run away with them on the same night,” said Chapola.

“After running away with the bags, the suspects managed to convince Tionge Nthala who owns a Toyota Hilux to ferry charcoal from an unknown destination.

Mzuzu Police Station PRO Maurice Chapola

“Nthala agreed to use her vehicle to carry the charcoal but later, the suspects changed the programme to ferrying fertilizer instead of charcoal,” he explained.

The police said on their way from the depot (after ferrying the fertilizer), the vehicle they were using developed a fault and had to be grounded near Ekwendeni.

People around the area became suspicious to see a vehicle loaded with subsidized fertilizer and rushed to alert police who came and arrested the owner of the vehicle.

“After that, police embarked on a campaign to track down the suspected thieves and in the process managed to arrest the five suspects on Wednesday, all from Chibavi residential area,” said Chapola.

The six arrested are Tionge Nthala 35, of Eneya Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mpherembe, Jacob Nthentala 20, of Zayankhoma Village in Traditional Authority Mtwalo, both from Mzimba District.

Others are Wyson Matebule, Siyani Village in the area of Traditional Authority Chamba in Machinga, Billy Mwafulirwa of Mwanyesha Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kyungu in Karonga District, Gisale Mhango of Chimdima Village in the area of Traditional Authority Chikulamayembe in Rumphi and Christopher Phiri, 19 from Kawera Village in the area Traditional Authority Mponela in Dowa District.

Meanwhile, the five suspected thieves will appear before court soon to answer charges of robbery with violence while vehicle owner, Tionge Nthala, will answer the charge of receiving stolen property since it is suspected that she received some bags of fertilizer after the suspected thieves failed to pay her transportation fee.

“This is the first incident for the city’s law enforcers to register a theft case in the fertilizer subsidy programme this year,” explained Chapola.

The Police publicist has however urged people from around the city not to deliberately involve themselves in dubious activities in the fertilizer subsidy programme, saying the law enforcers will track down anyone in the malpractice.

Bags of fertilizers that were stolen at Ruvwere satelite depot

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