By Vumani Mthiyane
Unsuspecting Gwanda villagers were on Saturday duped of bucket loads of mopane worms by suspected conmen who bought the delicacy using fake United States dollar notes, police have confirmed.
Lumene villagers from Chief Muzimuni Mbiko Masuku area thought they had driven a hard bargain when they sold a bucket of amacimbi for US$50.
A 20-litre bucket of amacimbi costs between R300 and R500.
The matter came to light when one villager took to social media to warn fellow villagers of the conmen who were moving around the villages duping unsuspecting villagers.
“May you please advice your friends and relatives who are selling amacimbi that there is a truck going around Gwanda buying amacimbi using fake USD$50 notes.
I saw people around Lumene area who had been duped by these people,” read the message shared on a Whatsapp group.
Matabeleland South Police provincial spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed having received such a report and said police are on high alert and are investigating the matter.
“It has come to our attention as police that there is a truck doing rounds in Gwanda buying macimbi using fake US dollar notes. We are kindly asking members of the public to share this information and save our communities.
“We are also appealing to anyone who might be having information that may lead to their arrest,” appealed Chief Insp. Ndebele.
Ward 4 Councillor Lobukhosi Malila also confirmed the development saying they are trying to assist the police to apprehend the criminals.
“We are all on the lookout for these criminals, I first heard of them from Manonkwe village head who said his subjects fell victim to the conmen,” he said.