Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
A gardener stole 40 bags of cement, 130 litres of petrol, two sewing machines and electrical accessories before opening the bags of cement and emptying the contents in a bushy area in a bid to fix his employer.
Emmany Kamoyo (25) sold 100 litres of petrol and hid the other loot in the bush.
He stunned the court when he indicated that he committed the offence in a bid to fix his employer, Mr George Chinomona, whom he accused of underpaying him.
Kamoyo told the court that as a gardener, his employer was violating his labour rights by making him clean the carpets.
He said cleaning carpets was not part of his job description.
He also said that he was not getting a bonus which he was entitled to.
“Your Worship, I stole the goods because I wanted to fix him,” he said.
“I was earning $150 per month as a gardener but I felt I was overworking and I was not getting a bonus. He would ask me to wash house carpets and also when he built his house four years ago, he asked me to help the builders but he did not pay me.
“I stole the goods so that I could recover my money.”
Magistrate Mr Richard Ramaboa called Mr Chinomona to the witness stand to answer to the raised allegations.
He denied abusing him.
“Your Worship, when his father was sick, I took care of the hospital bills. When he died, I also helped financially,” he said.
“Two weeks ago, I told him I was going to take care of his child’s school fees. I also helped him to obtain a driver’s licence.
“While a bonus is not a right, I went the extra mile to make his life comfortable, by giving him extra money when he went for the holidays. I do not know what he is saying by alleging that I violated his labour rights.
“Was it wrong for him to wash the carpets or perform other chores at the house? As for the 2015 building issue, why is he raising it now? Besides, it was the builder who sub-contracted him.
“He worked for me for seven years. If I was abusing him, would he have stayed for that long?”
In passing the sentence, Mr Ramaboa said: “There was no basis for you to speak of labour rights today as it happened years ago. The facts of the case show that you stole out of greed and malice because how else can you explain the theft of the cement if you later poured it in a bush and never sold it to gain money?”
He then sentenced Kamoyo to two years in prison but set aside a year on condition of restitution and good behaviour.
He will spend a year behind bars.