The chairperson of the Zimbabwe Commercial Sugarcane Farmers Association (ZCSFA) Ardmore Hwarare (54) appeared before Masvingo magistrate Walter Chikwana facing 10 counts of fraud and theft.

The state alleges that between November 11 2008 and January 2009 Hwarare stole 379 tones from 616 farmers, before selling it on the black market as sugar was expensive and in short supply then.

The accused would collect the sugar from Tongat Hullet on behalf of farmers but would divert it into his own use.

Hwarare alleged in court that he was being used as a shield to block prosecution of the VP.

The ZCSFA chairman alleges that on 2 September 2008, he surrendered half of the sugar to the VP upon her visit in to the Lowveld town.

Mujuru is the association’s national patron.

Chikwana  remanded Hwarare, a ZANU PF loyalist, out of custody to appear in court soon.

Dereck Charamba prosecuted.