Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
FIVE maids working for different employers, who stole a total amount of US$21 700, ZAR140 000, 4 000 pula, 1 300 yuan and 320 Zambian kwacha were convicted and some of them jailed by a Harare magistrate last week. They also stole property worth $20 000 from their employers.
The offences were committed in separate incidences.
Joice Jack (40) was employed by Mr Craig Groenewald in South Africa, where she stole R140 000 and $1 200 cash and escaped to Zimbabwe on February 5.
She also stole a bag full of clothes and jewellery. Mr Groenewald and his wife left home for work, leaving Jack alone in the house.
She went to her employer’s bedroom and saw the cash which had been left on the bed before stealing it.
The complainants discovered the offence when they returned home from work and made a report to the police.
The Zimbabwean police were alerted and arrested Jack two weeks later in Dzivarasekwa, Harare where R132 000 and the stolen clothes were recovered.
The stolen property was returned to the complainant. Jack was sentenced to three years in prison by magistrate Ms Victoria Mashamba, but 18 months were set aside on condition of good behaviour.
She will serve an effective 18 months.
In her defence, Jack told the court that she had been given the money by Mr Groenewald after performing oral sex on him.
She said per each session, he would give her R50 000, a claim which Mr Groenewald vehemently dismissed.
Another 22-year-old maid Betty Munzvenga from Mutoko, who was employed in Harare, stole $20 500, 4 000 pula, 320 Zambian kwacha and 1 300 yuan from her employer. She also stole clothes and kitchen utensils. She used part of the money to buy household property that included a bed and a set of sofas which she took to Mutoko. She pleaded guilty and was also sentenced to three years behind bars by magistrate Ms Tracy Muzondo.
Six months were suspended for good behaviour and a further six months was set aside on condition of restitution, leaving her with two effective years in prison.
The other three maids, Anna Manjoro (34), Memory Seremani (19) and Plaxedes Fraizer (27) were employed by the same employer in Belvedere.
They stole property worth $10 000 from their employer after they woke up in the middle of the night while their boss was sleeping and gained access into the storeroom through the roof before stealing the goods which were kept there.
They tip-toed out of the house, climbed on top of the roof and got into the storeroom. With the assistance of their two alleged accomplices, the three women hired two vehicles to carry the loot.
However, during trial they denied gaining access into the storeroom through the roof, saying they had keys to the room which they used to unlock the door.
The magistrate Ms Tracy Muzondo sentenced the trio to three years in prison before setting aside 12 months on condition of good behaviour.
She suspended 12 months on condition of restitution and the remaining 12 months were set aside on condition they each perform 350 hours of community service.