Senior Court Reporter
A key State witness today exonerated former Agriculture deputy minister Douglas Karoro on charges of corruptly acquiring 700 bags of fertilisers from GMB Mushumbi Pools under the Presidential Inputs Scheme before selling them in Harare saying he had never met him or transacted with him in the alleged deal.
Mr Widdorn Chiodza exonerated Karoro while testifying in the ongoing trial where Karoro is jointly charged with GMB Mushumbi Pools depot manager Lovejoy Ngowe, Jeremy Phiri, Mugove Chidamba and Dean Dzimunya on fraud charges.
The inputs were set to benefit farmers in Mbire constituency under the Presidential Inputs Scheme.
Mr Chiodza told Harare regional magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa that he was not aware of the role that Karoro played in the deal, as he only saw his name written on the dispatch voucher and then went to collect the fertiliser at Mushumbi Pools Depot.
He gave the piece of evidence after being asked by prosecutor Mr George Manokore to outline the role played by each person in the alleged offence.
Chiodza also told the court that he met Chidamba when he attempted to recover the fertiliser and the deal soured.
He said Ngowe was the one who gave him the dispatch voucher.
Chiodza testified that he gave Phiri US$10 000 for the fertilisers before he instructed Dzimunya to escort him to collect the inputs from Mushumbi Pools depot.
The five are denying the charges.
The matter continues tomorrow with Mr Admire Rubaya and Mr Batanai Pesanayi cross-examining Chiodza.