A SOLDIER who allegedly masqueraded as a police officer from the minerals unit and defrauded gold miners at Dolomac 17 Mine in Kwekwe of $1 100 appeared in court last Wednesday charged with fraud.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Peace Shambari (28), however, denied the charge when he appeared before Kwekwe provincial magistrate Letwin Rwodzi.
The State alleges that Shambari last month drove to the mine with three accomplices in his Honda CRV which they parked in a bush some distance from the mine.
They allegedly proceeded to the mine on foot and took the money from Joseph Chipinge claiming it was being confiscated as part of investigations.
The State further alleges that after taking the money which was meant for mine workers’ salaries, Shambari proceeded to the carbon room were gold is trapped and attempted to break into the high security area.
He was, however, stopped by an alert security officer who demanded to see his identification papers.
Shambari and his team allegedly fled the scene, leaving behind their vehicle and a cellphone which was taken to the police.
When police detectives searched Shambari’s car, they allegedly recovered 41 pieces of brass weighing 241,60 grammes and two machetes stashed under the carpet.
Shambari, through his lawyer Nomore Hlabano, told the court he was only hired by the three accused persons, who are on the run, to provide transport.
He said he remained in his car while the three went to the mine and had no knowledge of what happened at the mine.
Hlabano told Rwodzi that his client was shocked when the complainants came to his car holding sticks, while others wielded machetes and started assaulting him, forcing him to flee the scene on foot.
Shambari was granted $100 bail and remanded to February 17.
Fiona Mkwena appeared for the State.