CHINHOYI — Nineteen people, including breastfeeding mothers, were brought before a Chinhoyi magistrate on Wednesday, facing theft charges after they allegedly stole various items valued at $4 702 from a driver who lay unconscious after his vehicle was involved in a road accident.
The driver, Caswell Manana (46) of Norton, who is employed by Delta Gold Eureka Mine as finance manager in Guruve, was travelling in a Toyota Hilux twin cab from Norton to Guruve when the accident occurred.
The exact location of the accident was not mentioned in court papers. Of the 19 accused persons 16, pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment wholly suspended on condition they do not commit a similar offence in the next five years. Three others pleaded not guilty and were remanded out of custody to June 19.
The accused are; Partson Tembo (42), Thomas Malunga (27), Julius Gavoro (27), Simbarashe Garawiro (23), Moses Marizani (51), Chris Chimombe (20),Tichaona Nzou (28), Bernard Mukungwe (28), Benson Banda (24), Muchaneta Garaviro (20), Rumbidzai Makosa (23), Entanace Gwatura (20), Judith Kembo (24), Emson Joel (34), Alice Mutomoya (34), Margret Nyasoro (26), Honest Nzou (26), Collen Machimbidzofa (31) and Golden Danger (22).
The three who pleaded not guilty are Nzou, Machimbidzofa and Danger.
Prosecutor Farai Zachariah told the court that on June 4, the complainant was driving the company truck carrying goods that include safety shoes, an HP laptop, vitemax rods, sunlight liquid and insulation tester fluke, among others.
The driver was involved in an accident which rendered him unconscious.
The court heard that farm workers from nearby compounds, including accused persons, gathered at the scene.
It was heard that unidentified men who were driving a white Toyota Ipsum arrived at the scene and took three sealed boxes containing safety shoes and loaded them into their car, enticing the accused persons to loot the remaining goods. The 19 then allegedly went on to steal shoes, a laptop and other goods from the wrecked truck.
Some of the property worth $4 402 was later recovered by police from nearby bushes.
Magistrate Farai Gwitima presided over the matter.