Police in Bulawayo have confirmed that there were farmers who were duped by fraudster and sold fake broilers.
Disgruntled residents who bought the chicks said they had weird characteristics that include ravenous appetite, failure to grow and vicious fighting among themselves.
Three customers who bought the chicks from Amadi Nyathi (age not obtained) of Mzilikazi suburb told police that the chicks ate way too much for their size.
“They look and still weigh less than 100 grammes after four and half weeks instead of 1,2kg. They eat more than full grown chickens,” said one of the residents.
The suspect allegedly admitted he sold about 8 000 chicks to unknown clients at $1.60 each.
Bulawayo acting police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said the suspect was in police custody and assisting with investigations.
About 5 000 out of 8 000 chicks have been accounted for while customers who bought the other 3 000 are expected to come forward and file reports.
Insp Ncube said: “The chicks have turned out to have weird characteristics. They’re way different from broilers. The chicks which are expected to be about four and a half weeks old now, still looking like they are three days old.”
He appealed to members of the public who might have bought broilers in Bulawayo from the suspect to come forward.
“The chicks do not grow but they are hyperactive for broilers. They eat a lot, jump around too much and fight each other fiercely.
Insp Ncube said the suspect first claimed to have acquired the chicks from Chegutu and later said Masvingo.
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