Lovemore Meya Court Correspondent
A thieving couple from Beatrice that claimed to be orphans after stealing its employer’s clothes and a tonne of shelled maize worth $1 727, was yesterday slapped with a combined 14-month prison term.
Takudzwa Muzondo (20) and his wife Patricia Chikwiti (19) of Plot 76 Eden Farm fled to Dombo raMwari in Epworth Harare where they rented a room after committing the offence.
The two told the court that they committed the offence because they were orphans and had no one to look after them.
Appearing before Chitungwiza magistrate Mr Lazarus Murendo, the couple pleaded guilty to two counts of theft.
Mr Murendo sentenced Muzondo to 20 months behind bars with four months suspended on condition of good behaviour.
He will serve an effective 10 months.
Chikwiti was handed a year in prison but had four months suspended for five years, while the other four were set aside on condition she pays back $1 208 to her paymaster Susan Mayidiya (53) of the same plot.
The prosecutor Mr Donald Mudadirwa told the court that the couple was employed as general hands by Mayidiya sometime last year.
On December 13, Mayidiya left her farm in charge of the couple as she proceeded to Harare.
The court heard that Mayidiya gave them a room to use and locked her property into another room.
On January 19 this year, the two took advantage of Mayidiya’s absence and stole 23X50 kilograms of shelled maize and two shovels.
They also took various clothing and groceries worth $1 214.
After committing the offence, they went to hide in Epworth where they rented a room leaving Mayidiya’s property unattended.
Mayidiya returned home on January 29 and discovered the offence.
She reported the matter to the police and on February 1, detectives from CID Beatrice received information to the effect that the two were staying in Epworth.
The detectives followed the couple leading to its arrest. They revealed that they had sold part of the loot to Tichaona Chadenga of Rosarum shops in Beatrice.