In a typical case of reaping where they did not sow, two millers allegedly looted 9,735 bags of maize left in their custody for safe keeping by Agriculture deputy minister Vangelis Haritatos.

The 50kg maize bags are valued at over US$163,000, according to papers before a Harare magistrates’ court Thursday.

The suspects, Edwin Mwale, 41, and Kudakwashe Murehwa, 46, appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi and were not asked to plead.

They will be back in court Friday for bail ruling.

According to court papers, Haritatos owns a farm situated in Kadoma which mainly focuses on the production of maize.

The maize is then transported to Central Bakery and Millers through Netombo Transport Logistics Company.

Upon delivery of the cereal, it is then stored in a warehouse under the custody and supervision of the two suspects.

“On the dates not known to the prosecutors but sometime during the period extending from May 2023 to July 2023, the duo hatched a plan to steal 9,735 bags of 50kg maize which had been put under their custody by the complainant.

“The accused persons who were custodians of the maize bags in the warehouse connived and took 9,735 X 50kgs of maize bags from Central Bakery and Millers using their own transportation,” read court papers.

The offence came to light when the top government official carried out an internal investigation only to discover that the cereal was missing.

The total value of the stolen property is US$163, 061,25 and nothing was recovered.

It is further alleged that Mwale and the driver of Netombo Transport Logistics Tapera Zhuwau, in July 2023, loaded 600 bags of 50kg maize which he was supposed to deliver at Central Bakery Pomona at Mwale’s place of work.

The two, acting in common purpose, then connived to convert the maize load to their own use.

The maize was worth USS$10,050 and nothing was recovered.