Malawi fertilizers scandal: 4 granted bail, pleads ‘not guilty’

Mangochi first grade magistrate Jack Njiko on Wednesday granted bail to four suspects arrested in connection with the 600 bags of subsidized fertilizers found mixed with sand at Katuli ADMARC depot a week ago.

They are a driver of Simama Transport and his two assistants, and production manager for fertilizer manufacturer Optichem, Samuel Synoden.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the charge of theft by trick.

Meanwhile Optichem’s boss Synoden and the Driver of the Simama have gone back home after they paid a bail bond of K50, 000.

The two driver assistants have remained in police custody awaiting their relatives to bail them out possibly Thursday.

Police sources told Nyasa Times that the Optichem’s boss, who is also known for palm oiling policemen in a bid to deter them from investigating his shady dealings, was given red carpet treatment by senior police officers at Mangochi police station where he spent a night after he was transferred from Blantyre where he was arrested from.

Red carpert

According to the sources Synoden was offered to sleep in the Criminal Investigations Department office where he was provided with special mattress and a blanket instead of a police cell where other three co-accused had been spending their nights.

Synoden is also said to have been escorted to Villa Tafika Lodge Thursday Morning by a police officer where he was allowed to take a shower before he and his co-accused where taken to court where they were given bail.

He was arrested on Monday for being suspect of conniving with the co-accused in mixing the sand with fertilizers during the packaging.

His arrest came after the sand samples which were being tested at Bvumbwe Research Station proved that the sand mixed with fertilizers was the same as the one which was found at Optichem factory in Blantyre.

Commencement of the hearing of the case is yet to be known as investigations continue.

However, police sources say top government official is conspiring to pervert the course of justice in a bid to shield Simama company in the matter.

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