Two employees of a Chinese construction company who stole cement from their employer escaped a 20-month jail term each after their employer withdrew the charges.
Stephen Nyakasvipa (30) and Lusyomo Mutale (23), both employed by a Chinese contractor, Zimbabwe Jiangsu Construction Company (ZJCC), had pleaded guilty to theft of cement worth $1 000 from their employer.
The two reportedly connived with Jabulani Jamiti (21) and Tawanda Munyanyi (30), who works for another firm which was not stated in court papers, to commit the crime.
Jamiti and Munyanyi denied the charges and their case is still pending.
Nyakasvipa, Mutale and Jamiti were represented by a lawyer from Marondedze, Mukuku and Partners law firm while Munyanyi was not represented.
Lupane magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba last week sentenced Nyakasvipa and Mutale to 20 months each in prison before suspending the custodial term for five years on condition of good behaviour.
This was after their Chinese employer pleaded with the court to release them, saying he wanted Nyakasvipa and Mutale back at work and would deduct his money from their salaries.
The pair had denied the charges, saying they only received the cement on behalf of their employer.
The State had to apply for the separation of Jamiti and Munyanyi’s trial after it was discovered that Munyanyi was one of those who bought the cement from Nyakasvipa and Mutale.
Jamiti was remanded out of custody on $50 bail while Munyanyi was remanded out of custody on free bail to December 12 for continuation of trial.
The State case was that Nyakasvipa and Mutale were employed by ZJCC as general workers.
The company was contracted by the government to build government offices in Lupane.
The pair broke into the company’s storeroom where they stole 74 bags of cement worth $1 000 and took them to Jamiti’s place.
Only cement worth $195 was recovered.