ZCDC employee denied bail

HARARE - A Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) employee who allegedly connived with his workmates and manipulated security and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and exchanged fake gems for original ones without detection was denied bail yesterday.

In the process, the ZCDC lost diamonds worth more than $500 000.

Anesu Dhliwayo, 34, who was employed in the diamond sorting division where the precious stones were graded, was denied bail and remanded in custody to January 12 when he appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa charged with theft.

“There is overwhelming evidence against this accused person and the fact that he did not appear in court when his co-accused persons were arrested shows that he was elusive,” Mugwagwa ruled.

“It is not in dispute that the accused person assisted police to recover a motor vehicle bought with proceeds of the crime…for that reason it is this court’s finding that the accused person is not a fit and proper candidate for bail.”

The investigating officer, Damson Chatukuta, opposed Dhliwayo’s admission to bail on basis that he did not dispute his involvement in the case.

“Accused is facing serious allegations of theft from an employer who earns revenue for the government of Zimbabwe. The offence has a negative bearing on the economy of the country,” Chatukuta said.

“Evidence against him is overwhelming such that he is likely to be convicted if the matter goes to trial. Accused person also led detectives to recovery of a Toyota Wish vehicle that he purchased on October 26 using proceeds of the crime.”

The court heard that immediately after committing the offence Dhliwayo used proceeds of the diamond sale to purchase a Toyota Wish motor vehicle that was later surrendered to the police after his arrest.

Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that between January 1 and December 21 this year at 90 Mutare Road, ZCDC offices in Harare, Dhliwayo was employed by the complainant as a sorter.

The court heard that his duties included grading and handling of diamonds inside the sort house at ZCDC.

Dhliwayo reportedly connived with other employees Tobias Mukundu, Elphas Dhaka and Stalin Munyanyi to steal the precious mineral from their employer.

According to State papers Mukundu was an internal security guard responsible for protecting diamonds from theft by employees, Dhaka a sorter and Munyanyi operated the close circuit television (CCTV) monitoring movements to detect thefts that would occur within the company.

Acting in common purpose with a suspected illegal diamond dealer Tapiwa Marange who is still at large Dhliwayo and his gang would take turns to smuggle fake diamonds into the sort house.

The court heard that Dhliwayo’s workmates Mukundu and Munyanyi would make sure that their colleagues were not detected at security and CCTV levels facilitating smooth exchange of the diamonds for fake ones.

It was alleged that Dhliwayo would use fake diamonds that had the same weight as the original ones ina bid to cover up the offence.

After the diamonds would have been stolen Mukundu and Munyanyi would ensure that Dhliwayo leaves the sort house where diamonds are graded without being detected by CCTV or internal security.

According to State papers the diamonds would sell the stolen diamonds to a known black market dealer in United States dollars before sharing the proceeds among themselves.

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