A 28 YEAR-OLD Harare woman who allegedly stole R1 million (about US$80,000) from her employer in South Africa before fleeing to Zimbabwe was Tuesday dragged before the magistrates courts facing theft charges.
Constance Mujeyi was charged together with cousins, Watson and Mathew Laiton aged 27 and 23 respectively.
They however deny the charges, saying the cash recovered by police following their arrest, some R539,000, was in fact personal savings accumulated over ten years of hard grafting in South Africa.
Maigistrate Tendai Mahwe presided over the case.
The State opposed bail pending trial, citing that the three were a flight risk since they committed a serious offence which attracts a custodial sentence.
Prosecutors say on May 11 this year, the trio connived and hatched a plan to steal money from Veronica Wilkins’ house where Mujeyi was employed as a maid.
The state alleges that Mujeyi went into Wilkins’ bedroom where she took money and handed it over to her two cousins.
The trio later fled South Africa through Beitbridge boarder post and smuggled the money into Zimbabwe.
Prosecutors said the trio started spending the money and built a two-roomed house at their mother’s place of residency in Harare’s Zengeza suburb.
According to the state, they also bought a vehicle.
The theft came to light after one Tawanda Muzinda made a report to the police leading to the trio’s arrest and the subsequent recovery of R539.300 and 180 Pounds, 765 Euros as well as the car which is held as an exhibit.
However in their defence, the three said they were tortured by police officers who had intentions to induce them to admit the crime.
Mujeyi, who is alleged to have stolen the money, said she was already in Zimbabwe at the time in question.
The trio also claimed that the money which was recovered by the police is their personal savings as they had been working and saving in South Africa as a family for the past 10 years.
They also told the court that the state has not yet proved who the owner of the money that was recovered was further stating that prosecutors were submitting assumptions before the court.
Sebastin Mutizirwa prosecuted.