Karoi Farm Centre owner Labours Mahere has been fined $40 000 after he was caught red-handed making counterfeit agricultural chemicals.
In passing sentence, Karoi resident magistrate Godwills Mavenge said if Mahere fails to pay the $40 000 fine he was going to be jailed for 30 days.
Magistrate Mavenge said people like Mahere were a danger to society and said that strong deterrent measures will be taken if he repeats the same offence.
“People like Mahere are a danger to society and strong measures will be taken if he repeats the same offence. However, the court noted that he did not waste time by acknowledging his offence,” he said.
The chemicals that he was caught manufacturing were forfeited by the state.
Mahere who runs Karoi Farm Centre was caught red handed by police on Sunday while making fake chemicals with another company’s logo called CP Chemicals Zimbabwe.
CP Chemicals is a major supplier of agro chemicals in Zimbabwe. We Importers and distributors of agro chemicals providing fumigation services to pre-shipment quarantine and grain
Mahere was being charged under the trademark.
Mahere has another court case in the high court where he is also being sued by Mhuri Farming Private Limited where he allegedly sold fake chemicals to the entity and the company incurred a US$150 000 loss after the seedlings failed to germinate.
A lawyer who is privy to the information said that Mahere allegedly sold a fake chemical with an Agricura logo. Tests done showed that the chemical was diluted.
Investigations showed that farmers across Mashonaland West have fallen victim to Mahere’s shenanigans.
Elmon Moyo, an Agricultural Extension Officer in Kazangarare said that over the past years many farmers have fallen victim to the unscrupulous businessman.
“This solves the puzzle that has been troubling us as agricultural officers. For years, farmers who ostensibly buy chemicals from Karoi Farm Centre do not get the intended results. I also know a family that bought cattle chemicals from the institution and lost several of them without a proper explanation,” he said.
Agricultural minister Anxious Masuka said unscrupulous people were taking advantage of the lax laws to con farmers.
“I have heard some cases and the government is working hard to come up with strong deterrence measures for unscrupulous people who are milking farmers with fake inputs,” he said.