$28 000 theft: Maids in court

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tanaka Mrewa

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

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