Owner of Kachere Agricultural Trading, Smollet Kachere, who was arrested over the missing of 13 trucks of maize meant for National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA), has alleged that more maize has been stolen at Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc).
Kachere, who appeared before the joint parliamentary committee that is conducting an inquiry into issues related to the Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) and NFRA’s maize, was sent back after he told the committee that the matter he was summoned for was before the court.
But on his way out, he told journalists that there are big thieves who have stolen more maize from Admarc and that the quantity believed to be in Admarc’s depots is not the correct one.
“They are claiming that they have about 38,000 metric tonnes [MT] in Admarc depots but I can assure you that there is less than that. The maize has been stolen.
“There are big thieves out there; that is why the publicity about this issue is heavily sponsored so that the issue is blown out of proportion,” Kachere claimed.
The transporter, who is currently on bail, further alleged that he was told at one point that there were 2,000MT of maize but that he found only 100MT; hence, his letter to NFRA to continue with the contract.
“If we finish transporting the maize, then those big thieves who have stolen the maize will be exposed. It will be known that the maize is not 38,000 metric tonnes,” he charged.
Meanwhile, the joint parliamentary committee has asked Inspector General of Police Merlyn Yolamu to investigate Kachere’s allegations.
The police chief said her officers will analyse the information provided on the matter.
“At a later stage, I would like to have the information so that our investigators can analyse it and investigate to find out the truth about it,” she said.
Yolamu said she could not provide more information on the matter because it is in court.
Information about NFRA’s maize worth about K120 million being sold to Tanzania came to light three weeks ago when Kachere and another accused persons were brought to court following their arrest the previous day.
Tuesday, the committee also sent back Moses Khombe, a broker between government and Barkaat Food Company in the K750 million botched AIP deal.
Khombe was accused of lying under oath when he told the committee that he did not know whether government signed a contract with the United Kingdom-based firm.
He claimed his role ended at introducing the firm to government.
Khombe also also told the committee that he was not aware of who chaired some of the meetings he attended on the same.
However, a member of the committee read out emails that pointed to his involvement, before he was sent out of the room for allegedly lying under oath.