BY KENNETH NYANGANI/SIMBARASHE SITHOLE
Two soldiers have been taken to court for stealing scrap metal from their employer in Mutare and selling it to a local dealer.
Farai Chada (30) and Antony Mashaira (43), who are both employed by the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) in Mutare, yesterday appeared before Mutare magistrate Purity Gumbo who granted them $200 bail each.
Chada and Mashaira, who are denying the allegations, were remanded to August 22 for trial.
According to prosecutor John Munyurwa, the pair on June 23 stole four truck rims from ZNA Mutare School of Logistics premises.
They were seen by Alex Gwanzura loading the stolen rims into a private motor vehicle and he positively identified Chada.
On the same day, the accused persons went to Sakubva and sold the rims to scrap metal dealer Innocent Mataswa and he booked the transaction down in his scrap metal register under Mashaira’s name.
Gwanzura reported the matter to Jaison Mamvuto of the ZNA sometime in June, who then carried out a stock take and discovered that the rims were missing.
The complainant reported the matter at Mutare Central Police Station on August 15, leading to the arrest of the two.
In another matter, two ZNA officers were nabbed for being involved in a syndicate of illegal gold miners.
Joseph Zuva (31) of 1 Commando, Harare and Brighton Marambanhaka (25) of 2 Brigade, Harare — together with five accomplices Caster Tendai Mukweva (34), Darlington Tembo (21), Manyuchi Tanyanyiwa (36), Peter Buseti (31) and Misheck Muzondiwa (23) appeared before a Bindura magistrate Maria Msika charged with illegal mining.
They pleaded not guilty to contravening section 368(1) of the Mines and Mineral Act chapter 21:05 that relates to prospecting for gold without a licence or permit and were remanded out of custody to September 19.
Prosecutor Tariro Janhi alleged that on June 12 when detectives from Bindura were on patrol in the Mazowe area, they came across the illegal miners prospecting for gold. The soldiers, Mukweva and Tembo were in a pit digging for ore using a jack hammer and loading it into a bucket using a shovel.
The other three accused were taking out the gold ore from the pit using a hoist. The police requested to see their prospecting licence, which they failed to produce.
They were all arrested and taken to Bindura police with their jack hammer, hoist, bucket and 50kg of gold ore.