Police in Malawi’s commercial city of Blantyre have arrested production manager for Optichem Fertilizer Company in connection with the case in which some fertilizer meant for the country’s Farm Input Subsidy Programme – FISP – was found mixed with sand in Mangochi.
This brings to seven the number of people arrested in connection to the scandal.
The fertilizer was produced by Optichem and transported to Mangochi by Simama Transport.
Officer in-charge for Mangochi Police Senior Assistant Commissioner Ephraim Mathews Chipojola confirmed the arrest of the Optichem productions manager Mr. Samuel Snowden in Blantyre on Monday.
About 114 bags of fertilizer were discovered to have been mixed with sand in Mangochi.
This was part of the fertilizer that was being transferred from Blantyre’s Smallholder Farmer Fertilizer Revolving Fund-SFFRFM depot to Mangochi for this year’s farm input subsidy program – FISP.
Senior Assistant Commissioner Chipojola said the arrest of Mr. Snowden is part of investigations which police are conducting, to find out what happened for the fertilizer to be mixed with sand.
“The police acted with speed on the 27th October and immediately arrested Mr. Gilbert Mambo a driver for Simama, and his assistant, together with two others, who had transported the fertilizer from SFFRFM depot in Blantyre to Mangochi,” said Mr. Chipojola.
“A few days later, we also arrested driver of Chidzukulu Transport, and his assistant, who transported the fertilizer from Optichem depot in Chichiri to SFFRFM in Blantyre,” added the Mangochi police in-charge, who has since been transferred to Dowa Police.
“On Monday this week, the police in Blantyre made another arrest, this time, roping in the production manager for Optichem Fertilizer Company Mr. Samuel Snowden, who is being charged with theft.
According to Senior Assistant Commissioner Chipojola the charges being leveled against Mr. Snowden may change as investigations on the matter continue.
Meanwhile, results of test which were conducted on the fertilizer mixed with sand, are yet to be released, as ministry of agriculture spokesperson Sarah Tione said they haven’t been furnished with the report.