Over 1,300 small scale farmers in Mukonchi area of Kapiri Mposhi district in Central Province have been swindled of their money in a fertiliser deal by a named local agriculture company.
Chang’ondo Ward Councillor, Elizabeth Nachinsambwe confirmed to ZANIS today that the farmers were conned after paying K90, 000 each to the named firm, Samanita Agriculture Services, as down payment to supply them with fertiliser and seed for this farming season.
Ms. Nachinsambwe said upon paying the money the farmers in her ward were each promised to be given four bags of fertiliser and seed within one week in the deal which did not materialise.
The Councillor said according to the deal, Samanita Agriculture Services was to recover the money it would have spent on procuring the fertiliser from farmers after they harvested.
She said the named Director of the company kept promising the farmers with fertiliser saying his company had pressed an order for the supply of the commodity with a named reputable fertiliser company.
However, Ms. Nachinsambwe said the named reputable fertiliser company refuted having any dealings with Samanita Agriculture Services and its Director and that it has cleared all orders on fertiliser adding that it had none for sale at the moment.
She said the dealer had failed to deliver fertiliser and seed as agreed upon their payment of the initial money of K90, 000 each.
The famers were claiming refund of their money with interest saying the time for applying fertiliser and planting seed had elapsed.
The farmers have since reported the matter to Police.
And Police have since arrested Mr. Namangolwa and charged him with obtaining money by false pretences contrary to section 309 of the Penal Code Cap. 87 of the Laws of Zambia .
Local Police confirmed to ZANIS that Mr. Namangolwa who was arrested yesterday is in police custody and will appear in court soon.