Model pleads not guilty to shoplifting

HARARE - Black Opal Face of Zimbabwe (Bofoz) second princess Mercy Kamanura yesterday stunned the court when she claimed that a $40 jumpsuit she is accused of stealing from Edgars Stores magically appeared in her handbag.

Kamanura, 24, was represented by Lovemore Mataruse. She argued that the charge can be interpreted as attempted theft because she had not yet made her way out of the shop when the jumpsuit was retrieved from her bag.

Edgars Stores senior security officer Isaac Kanyandura told the court that the model admitted to stealing the jumpsuit and even wrote a statement confirming the shoplifting.

Kamanura claimed that she wrote the statement under duress.

“After the jumpsuit was found in her handbag, I called her to another corner of the shop,” Kanyandura said. “I treated her as a VIP customer and she admitted to having stolen the jumpsuit.”

In her statement crafted at Edgars, Kamanura wrote: “I was afraid to leave the garment I had hidden in the shop and I’m sorry for that, can you please forgive me.

“I was looking around Edgars shop and then asked to try a jumpsuit size 8 and 10. I then figured out the two were not my sizes but I took one jumpsuit and put it in my handbag and gave the other two to a shop assistant who was attending to me but I was caught at the entrance.”

After writing the statement, Kamanura then appended her signature and address which is 13190 Unit N Chitungwiza and her phone number, the court heard.

Prosecutor Progress Maringamoyo applied for a trial within a trial after Kamanura’s lawyer had questioned the authenticity of Edgars’ statement.

Kanyandura told the court the model used to frequent their shop. He said she had become a suspect because they would always find an empty hanger in the fitting room after she exited the shop.

When they saw her come in on the day in question, shop attendants and security were alerted, the court heard, and she was caught red-handed.


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