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Court clears Beitbridge town engineer of theft charges

by Staff reporter
10 Jun 2021 at 06:21hrs | Views
Beitbridge Municipality's director of engineering and works Mr Douglas Siphuma has been acquitted by a local magistrate court on charges of stealing fencing wire worth $14 850 from his employer.

Resident magistrate Mr Takudzwa Gwazemba ruled today at the close of the State case that there was no prima facie evidence against Mr Siphuma.

He said the case was merely based on suspicion and that the witnesses had failed to confirm that the alleged fence belonged to the municipality.

Through his lawyer, Mr Jabulani Mzinyathi of Garikayi and Partners, Mr Siphuma had applied for discharge at the close of State case arguing that the case was weak and that there was no evidence of wrong doing on his part.

Prosecuting, Mr Ronald Mugwagwa told the court that Mr Siphuma was arrested on January 8, last year, after he was found in possession of 27 rolls of razor wire.

The State alleged that between April 2019 and January 2020, he allegedly received the razor wire stolen from the town's sewer ponds.

Mr Mugwagwa said during the same period, numerous reports of theft of the fence from the sewage ponds were made to the municipality.

The court further heard that on January 8 last year, some municipal police on patrol spotted some rolls of razor wire in Mr Siphuma's commercial yard.

The State said the guards then enquired on the origins of the fence from Mr Siphuma, who indicated that he had bought the fence from South Africa and that he intended to use it to secure his properties.

The security guards insisted that he had stolen council property and made a report to the police.

The fence was in turn recovered from the yard and Mr Siphuma was subsequently arrested

Source - the herald