Man pays US$4.4k lobola with stolen money, gets two-year sentence


A Zimbabwean man who stole US$195,000 from his employer and used part of it to pay a bride price of US$4,426 was sentenced to two years in prison.

Chamunorwa Muvhuti, 40, a merchandiser at Mahomed Mussa Wholesalers, pleaded guilty to theft before Harare magistrate Apollonia Marutya. He claimed his employer did not pay him enough.

Marutya initially gave Muvhuti a 36-month sentence, but suspended 12 months on the conditions that he does not repeat the crime for five years and pays US$5,000 in restitution to Mahomed Mussa by Feb. 28.

Marutya said she considered that Muvhuti was a first-time offender who did not waste the court’s time and resources. She also noted that he had a family and underage children to support.

Most of the stolen money was recovered and Muvhuti did not benefit much from it, she said.

“However, the accused breached the trust between him and the complainant who is the company,” Marutya said.

Muvhuti hid in the shop with the help of two security guards on Dec. 21 and broke a portable safe with a metal object after it closed. He took the safe with him.

The business reported the missing safe the next day. Police arrested Muvhuti on Christmas Day in Mupande Village, Pfungwe, where he had gone to pay lobola, a traditional bride price, to his in-laws.

Muvhuti led police to his home in Chitungwiza, where they recovered US$186,100. He also showed them the safe, which the company identified as the one that contained the stolen money. -Zim Morning Post


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