Man in court over R5,5m theft

Chido Nyamuyaruka-Court Correspondent

A South Africa-based businessman appeared before a Harare magistrate yesterday on charges of theft of R5,5 million after breaching a contract to ferry a consignment to the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Rashid Zvoushe was remanded in custody to today for his bail application by Harare magistrate Mrs Yeukai Dzuda. 

Investigations into the matter are still underway. It is the State case that early in June this year, Zvoushe, who is in the transport business, was subcontracted by the complainant — whose name was not on the court papers — to ferry a consignment to the DRC. 

Zvoushe assigned driver Ashley Bhasera to transport the consignment from South Africa to Tenke Furume Mine in Tenke township, DRC. 

On June 13, Bhasera is said to have loaded 29,42 tonnes of copper plates and cathodes in DRC and left on the return trip to South Africa through Zimbabwe, but along the way, the truck is said to have developed some problems. 

On July 17, when the truck reached Zimbabwe, Zvoushe made arrangements for the truck to be towed to Aspindale Truck Stop in Harare by another truck. Then on July 28, Zvoushe and five accomplices still at large, allegedly stole the consignment by bringing in a new horse for the rig, connecting it to the trailer loaded with copper plates and driving out of Aspindale Truck Stop. 

When the complainant enquired from Zvoushe on the position of the truck, he was told that another horse had been found to transport the copper to South Africa.

Zvoushe is said to have engaged the other accused person, identified only as George, who is believed to be a clearing agent at Beitbridge Border Post to do acquittals for the consignment aboard the horse, which developed a knock and is parked at Waterfalls, Harare. 

On Tuesday, Zvoushe went to Marimba Police Station and intended to make a counter report of copper theft. 

He did not know that the complainant had already lodged a complaint against him, and was arrested. 

Investigation Officer, Detective Sergeant Givemore Gwatidzo, said according to investigations conducted so far, there is evidence linking Zvoushe to the crime. 

The stolen copper is valued at R5,5 million and nothing was recovered. 

Mr Anesu Chirenje appeared for the State.

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