CHIPANGALI DISTRICT WARD COUNCILLOR ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY STEALING 450 x 50 KG BAGS OF FRA MAIZE
Patriotic Front Party Sisinje Ward Councilor in Chipangali District has been formally arrested for allegedly stealing 450 by 50-kilogram bags of the Food Reserve Agency maize.
Sisinje ward councilor Phillip Bobat Phiri who has been charged for the offence of theft by agent and released on police bond yesterday, will appear in court soon.
Eastern Province Police Commanding Officer Limpo Liywalii has confirmed to Breeze FM News.
Mr. Liywalii stated that the magistrate has ordered that the recovered maize be given to intended beneficiaries.
The civic leader was arrested together with James Sakala, the buyer, Mabvuto Mwale, the truck driver and his co-driver Jones Mwale.
According to Police records, on January 25th, 2024, around 11 hours, a Volvo truck which was loaded with 450 bags of white maize from the Food Reserve Agency shed at Mgubudu was handed over to the councilor by a DMMU official at Lundazi turn off.
However, it was later discovered that instead of delivering the maize to his ward for distribution to vulnerable families, the councilor allegedly diverted the truck to Chipwizi Farm off Mfuwe road in Chipata with the intention of selling the relief maize.
Alert Police officers from Chipata Airport Police Station who were following up on another report in the area intercepted the theft in progress. Individuals were found offloading the maize from the truck at Chipwizi Farm.
Further investigation revealed that the civic leader had approached James Sakala, a 38-year-old businessman from Nyakutwa area in Chipata, who purchases maize at Lundazi turn off, indicating that he had 450 bags of maize for sale.
James Sakala, in turn, hired individuals to offload the maize, which was packed in Food Reserve Agency branded bags.