AMCOS leaders, traders arrested for falsely obtaining  subsidised fertiliser

SONGWE: POLICE in Songwe Region have arrested ten people including four leaders of the Agricultural Marketing Co-operative Societies (AMCOS) and six traders for providing false information that enabled them to obtain subsidised fertiliser.

The suspects were arrested following an intensive operation conducted by the regional special task force formed to monitor distribution of the agricultural input.

Songwe Regional Commissioner (RC), Dr Francis Michael spoke of the incident on Friday in a press conference that the region was carrying out an intensive operation to arrest all people preventing the subsidised fertilisers from reaching the targeted farmers.

He said the suspects included Iromba AMCOS’s Chairperson, Mr Rashid Shikombola who allegedly provided false documents and obtained a total of 624 bags of subsidised fertiliser by using his cooperative societies’ subsidised fertiliser number without its board and members’ consent.

Dr Michael said after Mr Shikombola procured the bags of fertilizers he sold them at exorbitant price to farmers who are not members of Iromba AMCOS, noting that further investigations are in progress for him to be held to account.

In another development, he said Mr Shikombola lied by registering to the subsidised fertiliser system that he was a a farmer from Iromba Village with a total of 1000 hectares, information that enabled him to  acquire 2,096 bags of fertiliser  before  selling  them to farmers out of the system.

Again, he falsified that he had 100 hectares of land, the details that enabled him to secure 187 bags of fertiliser.

Furthermore, Dr Michael noted that the task force scrutinised the Idunda AMCOS in which it’s Chairperson, Mr Gisega Mwazembe, Secretary, Mr Bahati Mwazembe and the Accountant, Mr Sikuzani Saimoni were found to have embezzled fund.

“They procured a total of 5,831 bags of fertiliser with the use of Idunda AMCOS’s subsidised fertiliser number without the consent of its board and members. There is a tendency of the leaders to register their names on behalf of their AMCOS’s names for the sake of obtaining subsidised fertilisers,” the RC said.

He said the three leaders lied by registering that their AMCOS had a total of 1000 hectares by using the cooperative societies’ chairperson name.

Dr Michael said the task force arrested six business persons linked to the crime whereby two of them namely Wilson Lema and Oscar Honde already have been taken to the court.

He said other four business persons including Wailesi Mwamengo, Omary Hashim Omary, Menard Mzumbe and Hamisi Njeregwa were under probe, hinting that all of them allegedly purchased the fertiliser and later on sold to the neighbouring countries.

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