Most of the broiler chicks have since died while those that had survived had stunted growth.
“We really did not suspect that we were being duped especially after they told us this was a Presidential project,” said Nomathemba Moyo. “But we realised we had been robbed the next day when the chicks started dying. The suppliers’ mobile number has been out of reach ever since.”
Under the project farmers would buy chicks and have fowl runs and feed supplied to them free of charge for four weeks before reselling them to the supplier at USD 4 each.
The suppliers had provided feed sufficient for a single day and had promised to return the next day with more feed and movable fowl runs.
While the farmers have reported the matter to the police nothing has been done with police alleging they had little information to act on.
“None of the farmers got the names of these people or their identification particulars. All their phone numbers are out of reach and in such a situation our hands are tight,” said a police officer stationed at Collen Bawn.
There is a shortage of day old chicks in Zimbabwe, resulting in imports from South Africa and Mozambique to meet demand.