Nine Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) security officials in Bulawayo who were facing charges of stealing $80 000 meant for Fidelity Printers, Zvishavane branch, on Monday got a reprieve when the State withdrew charges against them for lack of evidence.
Sonnyboy Moyo (36), Rodwell Tafadzwa Tamba (28), Tazen Munhumumwe (24), John Mahlekete (48), Tawanda Masara (46), Bornwell Sibanda (46), Sherturo Katoma (26), Methuseli Sibanda (33), Anele Ntuluki (36) had not been asked to plead to theft when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Gideon Ruvetsa.
Jerry Mutsindikwa made the application for withdrawal of the charges before plea after the State discovered that there was not enough evidence to convict them.
However, their freedom could be temporary as authorities at RBZ have advised the State that they would bring more evidence to prove that the nine committed the offence.
Charges against them are that on July 23 last year, RBZ in Bulawayo received requests for cash from Fidelity Printers’ branches, Gwanda, Filabusi and Zvishavane, to buy gold as their cash was no longer sufficient.
Gwanda was allocated $100 000, Filabusi $40 000 and Zvishavane $80 000.
Moyo, Tamba and Munhumumwe allegedly packed the money into three different cash boxes which they sealed and locked with padlocks before handing them over to the security department for safekeeping.
Three days later, Mahlekete, Masara, Sibanda, Katoma, Ntuluki and Methuseli took the cash boxes for delivery to the respective centres.
They delivered the cash to Gwanda and Filabusi but their escort vehicle developed a mechanical fault in Filabusi and they returned to Bulawayo with the cash meant for Zvishavane.
When they returned they handed the money back to the other three, Tamba, Munhumumwe and Moyo for safekeeping.
However, they allegedly connived to steal the $80 000 and broke the padlock which they later replaced with another, which they had allegedly bought.
The matter came to light when they delivered the cash box to Zvishavane on July 28 after officials in Zvishavane failed to open it as the keys held at the branch could not open the padlock.
They had to break it and discovered that it only contained $566 which had been requested for petty cash by the branch.
The matter was reported to the police, leading to the nine’s arrest. Nothing was recovered.