Nkhata Bay Police have arrested Village Headman Chiwombe for collecting National Identify Cards from villagers after promising to help them to access government loans through a local bank.
The chief allegedly used the IDs to access cheap fertilizer under Affordable Inputs Programme (AIP) illegally.
The chief has been identified as Village Headman Chiwombe, whose real name is Patrick Phiri aged 52.
The Village Headman is alleged to have collected the IDs on January 8, 2023 and brought them back to the owners on January 10, 2023.
The issue came to light on January 22, 2023 when the villagers wanted to access fertilizer at Mkumbira Centre in the district where it was realized that five of the ten IDs were already scanned, unveiling suspicions that they were already used by someone who might have accessed fertilizer without the knowledge of the owners, hence the arrest.
Further investigations disclosed the linkage between the dates the suspect collected the IDs and the scanning date.
The suspect has since been charged with theft by trick and he will appear before court on January 24, 2023.
Meanwhile, further investigations are underway to gather information on the actual number of bags of fertilizer that were accessed per ID.
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