Unilever loses R600 000 products to driver

Fungai Jachi Court Correspondent
Unilever Distribution Centre allegedly lost four tonnes of Vaseline petroleum jelly and Ponds products worth R600 000 to a truck driver in a botched delivery assignment. Solomon Madzianyanja (36) appeared before Mbare magistrate Ms Anita Tshuma charged with theft of trust prop- erty. Madzianyanja, through his lawyer, Mr Blessing Madanhe, challenged his placement on remand arguing that it was unlawful since the court had no jurisdiction to preside over the matter.

Mr Madanhe argued that the alleged offence was committed in South Africa and the State had no power to prosecute the matter as Madzianyanja awaits extra- dition. “There is no paperwork to prove that this offence was even committed and to place the accused on remand is unlawful.

“His arrest is based on wild suspicion and not even an international warrant of arrest was issued against the accused,” he argued. Prosecutor Mr Tafara Chirambira, however, insisted on the placement of Madzianyanja on remand arguing that if he was released he would flee and will not avail himself for extradition.

“The accused has to be remanded in custody while we await instructions on how to proceed from the Prosecutor-General’s Office. “Moreover, the State is in possession of all the paperwork that confirms that the accused committed the offence in South Africa and releasing him on bail may jeopardise investigations and his extradition,” he argued.

Madzianyanja was remanded in custody to today when Ms Tshuma is expected to make a ruling. Allegations are that in September last year, Madzianyanja was assigned by Unilever Distribution Centre, Boksburg, South Africa, to deliver four tonnes of Vaseline petroleum jelly and, four tonnes of Pond’s products to Continental Distributors in South Africa.

It is alleged that he sold the consignment to someone else and converted the money to his own use. The total amount prejudiced was R600 000 and nothing was recovered.

Meanwhile, an Alpha Omega Dairy employee who admitted to stealing the company’s pushcart worth $603 was on Friday ordered to perform 140 hours of community service by a Mbare magistrate.

Obey Bwanya (20) of No. 85, Fourth Street, Mbare, was sentenced to six months in prison by Ms Gladys Moyo who suspended two months of the sentence for five years on condition he does not commit a similar offence during that period.

Four months were suspended on condition he performs 140 hours of community service. Bwanya, who pleaded guilty to the charges, apologised for his actions and blamed poverty for his criminal behaviour.

However, Ms Moyo warned him against such behaviour saying his offence was out of greed and not need, since he was gainfully employed. She described Bwanya’s behaviour as biting the hand that fed him and advised him to desist from such criminal conduct as it would attract a custodial sentence for him the next time he steals.

Facts are that on January 26 this year, a fellow workmate found Bwanya in possession of two identical pushcarts, while at Mbare Farmer’s Market .

The workmate became suspicious and reported the matter to his superiors who then investigated and discovered that one of the pushcarts was stolen from Alpha Omega Dairy, while the other belonged to Bwanya, as it was given to him by the company for personal use.

Further investigations revealed that a label that had been removed from the pushcart was at Bwanya’s house.

The matter was reported to police, leading to Bwanya’s arrest.

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