A ZANU PF councillor in Shurugwi’s Tongogara area has been arrested on allegations of stealing 10 bags of food aid meant for starving villagers in his area.
Tapiwa Ndawana of ward 10 was arrested on Tuesday following a report filed by Shurugwi assistant district co-ordinator Desmond Anele Gumbochuma, who is also chairperson of the district’s drought relief programme.
According to a leaked police memorandum, Ndawana (42) of Ndawana village under Chief Banga, received 919x50kgs bags of maize from Tongogara Grain Marketing Board on January 6.
He allegedly transported the first batch of 330 bags of maize to Donga Council, while the remaining 589 bags were delivered to Banga and Matsika business centres for distribution to needy villagers.
Ndawana then allegedly connived with his co-accused Taurai Dongo (36) of Mhangami Mahachi village, Chief Banga, to steal 37 bags of the maize, claiming there was a shortfall at Matsika Business Centre.
Ndawana allegedly instructed a security guard at the council workshop to hand over the 37 bags of maize to Dongo, who then hired a commuter omnibus, registration number AEG 4293, and took the 37 bags of maize to Gweru, where he sold the grain to Tondereai Muzanenhamo for $4 800.
Police received a tip-off about the scam, leading to the accused’s arrest and recovery of only five bags of maize.
The total value of the stolen grain is $6 722 and $1 055 was recovered. The case was investigated under ZRP Donga Post RRB number 4152573.
Ndawana and Dongo yesterday appeared before Shurugwi magistrate Sthabile Zungula and were remanded in custody to January 15.
There was drama before the court hearing when a traditional healer believed to have been hired by the councillor performed some rituals inside the court premises before he was whisked away by security officials.