Six Lilongwe-based Ministry of Agriculture employees and truck driver are in police custody after the latter implicated the employees in stolen treadle pump parts worth half a million kwacha.
Central Region Police Public Relations Officer, Supt. Nolliettie Chihana, confirmed the arrest of the seven suspects on Thursday and identified the first suspects, the truck driver, as Moffat Banda, 53.
She said Banda was on Friday, January 13, was found at Malangalanga area in the city with a truck Registration number T518 AKL loaded with the treadle pump parts apparently ready to be ferried to Tanzania.
Upon interrogation, the driver revealed the names of Agricultural Department employees from whom he allegedly bought the equipment valued at about half a million kwacha, according to Chihana.
“Our Criminal Investigations Department (CID) made an effort to find out from the Principal Secretary (PS) for the Ministry of Agriculture and the Director of Irrigation and they both denied authorizing the sale of the equipment,” she explained.
The suspects, according to the central region police publicist, include Workshop Supervisor, Abel Khanje, 53; Senior Clerk, Zelifa Molande, 43; Procurement Officer, Annie Sawasawa, 51; Workshop Foreman, Moffat Mwachande, 40; driver, Nickson Chikwasa, 40 and another employee, Falesi Banda, 46.
Chihana said the suspects are all remanded at Maula Prison and the driver will answer the charge of receiving stolen property which is contrary to Section 328 of the Penal Code, while two of the suspected Agriculture employees, Khanje and Mwachande, will answer the charge of Theft by Servant, contrary to Section 283(1) of the Penal Code.
The remaining four employees will answer the charge of Conspiracy, contrary to Section 404 of the Penal Code.
According to Chihana, Khanje hails from Tambala village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mabuka in Mulanje; Molande from Chikhawo in T/A Njewa in Lilongwe; and Sawasawa hails from George Moyo Village in T/A Kapeni, Blantyre.
Mwachande hails from Kwitanda Village in T/A Nsamala in Balaka, Chikwasa from Sumbi Village, T/A Namkumba in Mangochi and Banda from Yosefe Village, T/A Kapepula in Kasungu.
The Police have since appealing to members of the general public to desist from purchasing goods on black market to avoid fueling crime.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :