THE Chipata Magistrates’ Court has set August 2, 2017 for judgment in a case of a man who is alleged to have swindled over 1,000 farmers out of K73,811 on the pretext of providing them with farming inputs through his company, Green Season Farmers Suppliers.
Magistrate Philip Mpundu set the judgment day after Greyson Phiri, who is the director at the company, closed his defence on Monday.
In his defence, Phiri confessed that 1,000 farmers paid a membership fee of K60 each to his company.
He said the first farmers he registered deposited the money in his INDO Zambia Bank account but that he later transferred the money into the company’s account when it was opened.
Phiri said he was reported to police when he was in the process of processing farming inputs for the farmers.
He said the police got his company’s documents and later the farmers were called at the police and they agreed that they should be refunded.
From there, we went to the bank and withdrew K48,000, which was given to the farmers, but I pledged that I would look for the remaining money and give it to those that were not refunded. I was shocked that after this, the police decided to bring this case to court,
He said it was not true that he bought a vehicle from the money that he got from the farmers.
The accused is charged with theft.
Earlier, Reuben Tembo, who was the first prosecution witness, said the people decided to report the matter to police after the company failed to honour its promise.
“After realising that this fertiliser issue was taking long, we decided to report the matter to police. I am told this man even bought a vehicle, a Spacio from the same money and the same vehicle is at the police station,” Tembo said.
He also identified the vehicle when the court moved to Chipata Central Police Station to view it.
Tembo said the people learnt about Phiri’s company that it was providing inputs through an announcement on one of the radio stations in Chipata.