$700 000 theft maid jailed 8 years

HARARE - Harare regional magistrate magistrate Themba Kuwanda has jailed for eight years a maid, who was convicted for stealing $700 000 from her employer.

Euna Tsekwete was left in the dock, after two of her accomplices Rebecca Kawe and Sheila Nyandoro were acquitted due to lack of incriminating evidence last week.

Kuwanda initially sentenced Tsekwete to 13 years in prison, before suspending five years on condition of good behaviour. The court also ordered that money amounting to $8 500 that was recovered from Tsekwete when she was arrested be returned to the complainant Jamil Farogh.

It further ordered that Farogh be given Tsekwete’s house, which she bought in Shamva, or be given money equivalent to the market value of the house.

Ruling on the matter, Kuwanda said there was overwhelming evidence linking Tsekwete to the theft following her indications to the police that led to the recovery of the hidden cash in a field at Nyikayaramba village in Madziwa.

He said there was no evidence linking Kawe and Nyandoro to the commission of the offence. He said the property which was recovered from the pair, through indications, might have been bought by their husbands who reportedly dealt in diamonds at some point.

Prosecutor Michael Reza told the court that the Prosecutor-General’s office, would appeal against the acquittal of the two maids.

The three maids were arrested in April 2012 after information leaked to the police through Tsekwete’s relatives in Shamva that she had stolen some money.

Farogh lost the staggering money when the three maids discovered wads of cash in a kitchen drawer and stole it, during his visit to relatives in Gweru.

The three maids initially pleaded guilty when they first appeared before the court.

Charges against them arose after Kawe allegedly discovered the money and approached Tsekwete and Nyandoro. She allegedly informed them about the cash which they subsequently stole and shared equally.

Evidence that was led in court suggested that the three later resigned from employment within a month after allegedly stealing the cash.

The State had alleged the maids used the bounty to buy residential stands and vehicles which they registered in other people’s names.

The court heard the convict, Tsekwete, bought a Mazda 323, a house in Shamva and built another one in Madziva, while her acquitted accomplices Kawe and Nyandoro allegedly bought themselves houses in Chitungwiza.

The trio was represented by Nicholas Chikono.

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