Farmers lose $500k maize to miller
Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
Superfresh (Pvt) Ltd general manager Takudzwa Nyika yesterday appeared in court facing allegations of duping farmers of more than 1 000 tonnes of maize worth about us$500 000.
Nyika (26) appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Milton Serima facing fraud charges.
He was represented by his lawyer, Mr Emmanuel Samundombe, and was remanded in custody to Thursday for bail application.
Prosecutor Ms Sharon Mashavira opposed bail, arguing that Nyika faced an additional six counts as the number of complainants increased.
The court heard that Nyika was responsible for all operations and payment of clients.
Ms Mashavira alleged that between June and August 31 this year, Nyika connived with Superfresh director Praymore Makanda to flight an advertisement in a local newspaper purporting that they had the capacity to buy maize at US$390 per tonne, well above the Grain Marketing Board’s gazetted US$378,86 per tonne.
In the advert, the pair also indicated that payment would be made in seven working days from the date of delivery, the court heard.
It is alleged that the pair collected more than 1 000 tonnes of maize from different farmers and sold part of the grain to other companies for US$260.
The court heard that Nyika and Makanda only managed to pay a few selected farmers. Their company processed some of the maize into mealie-meal which they sold at their shops in Harare.
The farmers approached Nyika several times demanding payment without success. The farmers got agitated and started demanding their grain back.
Realising that they had been duped, the farmers reported the matter to police leading to Nyika’s arrest.
The farmers lost maize worth US$500 000 and nothing has been recovered.