Home » Industry » Lasch Bosses Desert CSC Offices

Lasch Investments management has deserted its head office at CSC offices in Harare’s Willowvale industrial area after failing to deliver agricultural inputs to thousands of farmers who paid various amounts to become members of the loan scheme.

Police have been brought in to investigate how the scheme, a joint venture between Lasch and some Zanu-PF Youth League officials, handled the funds contributed by the farmers which ran into thousands of dollars.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed yesterday that the case was under investigation.

“Police are investigating the case and a docket has been opened,” she said.

“The complainants against the company are 115 and most of them are from Mashonaland Central.”

Sources said although only 115 farmers made reports to the police, there were more than 15 000 farmers who could have been duped.

Some of the farmers have been camped at the Lasch offices for weeks, hoping that the company officials would honour their side of the bargain.

The farmers were told that they would benefit from farming inputs immediately after paying a $36 joining fee, $5 for Agritex stamp and $342 for insurance.

They were expected to receive all the farming inputs they would request and pay back after selling their harvested crop.

Instead, Lasch management squandered the funds contributed by the farmers on cars, stationery, cellphones and inputs for selected horticultural farmers.

Since last week, the Lasch management has been evading farmers and their efforts to contact them have been fruitless.

But one of the managers, Mr Nelson Mahupete told The Herald yesterday that the farmers made a mistake by demonstrating against the management.

“How do they expect management to come to work when they illegally demonstrated?” he said. “They have been told by officials whom I cannot reveal to stop such acts.”

Last Friday, Lasch co-director and Zanu-PF Youth League director Mr Tapiwa Zengeya was detained by the angry farmers at the Zanu-PF headquarters.

He said yesterday that they will update the farmers on the inputs scheme on Thursday.

“We will only be able to tell farmers the way forward either positive or negative on Thursday,” he said. “The farmers have my phone number and they can always call me.”

The farmers were yesterday still camped at the CSC premises, with two Lasch clerks present confirming that officials in the management were no longer coming to work.

The company’s managing director Mr Evans Zininga is avoiding the farmers and not answering his phone.

The affected farmers called on Government to intervene as they were now desperate.

Banket farmer Mr Elliah Matyenyoka said they were worried that they did not have anyone to consult on the case as the Lasch management had gone into hiding.

“We have been taken for granted by these unscrupulous businessmen,” he said. “We joined the inputs scheme since it was linked to the ruling party, not knowing that Lasch Investments was just using the party logo to dupe us.”

On Friday last week, the disgruntled farmers detained Zanu-PF Central Committee member Cde Absolom Sikhosana at the CSC offices overnight and force-marched Cde Zengeya from the offices to the party’s headquarters.

Source : The Herald