$28 000 theft: Maids in court
ONE of two maids from Bulawayo who allegedly stole $28 000 from their employer used the money to buy her husband a car as a Christmas present, a court heard yesterday.
Florence Phiri (43) fled from her boss’ house in Hillside suburb the night before the money was discovered missing, after buying the car.
Eunice Mabhena (50) and Phiri appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya and were remanded in custody to separate trial dates as their pleas differed.
Mabhena, through her lawyer Mr Vuyile Mpofu of V.J Mpofu and Associates, applied for $50 bail.
Phiri pleaded guilty to theft but said she had taken a small portion of the missing money.
“Your Worship I only took $5 500. I used $1 800 to buy a car as a Christmas present for my husband. I don’t know who took the rest of the money. May this court please remand me out of custody,” said Phiri.
Mr Tashaya turned down the request saying the amount she stole warranted a custodial sentence.
“You are pleading partly to the charge and the amount you are admitting to already attracts a custodial sentence. You shall be in custody until your trial date,” he said.
For the bail request, he reserved the court’s decision to Monday as the State opposed the application because of the amount of money involved.
Mr Mpofu allayed the State’s fears that Mabhena would flee to her husband in South Africa saying that he was on his way to Zimbabwe to support his wife during the trial.
“There is no possibility for my client to interfere with State witnesses. As it is her fellow workmate has already pleaded guilty. I don’t understand how she can disturb the State’s investigations when the accused person is admitting to her offence,” he said.
Representing the State, Miss Leean Nkomo said on August 2 this year, the maids’ employer, Ms Permian Macheka, sold 52 cattle and stashed $28 600 in her bedroom.
“On October 19, complainant added $2 400 to her money. On October 24 she realised that $28 000 was missing from her money and she made a report to the police. Phiri was found in possession of $100 and Mabhena had $700 and the serial numbers of the notes tallied with those of the stolen money,” said Miss Nkomo. — @tannytkay
Eunice Mabhena and Florence Phiri