TRANSPORT minister Obert Mpofu’s Land Cruiser Prado was allegedly stolen last week after a man believed to be a South African national hired it on the pretext that he was attending a wedding in Matobo and disappeared.
This came to light when the investigating officer in the matter, Detective Addmore Madamure from Vehicle Theft Squad, made an application on Friday for an order compelling Econet to release details of the cell number used by the suspect, Tsekang Tsediso Ntshinye.
Ntshinye is a holder of a South African passport.
Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushowe granted the order on the same day.
“Whereupon after going through the record and getting submissions from investigating officer Addmore Madamure, it is hereby ordered that Econet release the full particulars, call history, IMEI number of the cellphone and triangulation for the exact location of subscriber 0777 303 063 for further investigations,” the magistrate ordered.
“The period (of investigation is from) March 19 to 27 2015.”
In his application, Madamure said Ntshinye misrepresented to Mpofu’s Khanondo Car Hire employees that he had seen the Prado at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport, where he arrived aboard a South African Airways.
“The accused was using an Econet line 0777 303 063 to communicate with employees of Khanondo Car Hire,” the investigating officer said.
“They met at Nando’s, Jason Moyo Street, where accused paid a deposit of $300 and was given the vehicle and drove away purporting to be going to Matobo.”
He said Ntshinye’s cellphone was switched off at around 4pm on March 23 and has not been switched on since.
“It has been established that the accused never arrived in the country by air, as his name does not appear on the passengers manifest and that there was no wedding in Matobo,” Madamure said.
He said the information he needed from Econet was meant to assist in investigating the matter.
Zimbabweans, however, have never been sympathetic with Mpofu whom they at times refer to as Tollbert Mpofu or Minister of Tollgates. The wealthy minister has lost many people’s favour after he increased tollgate fees, a development his predecessor Nicholas Goche who held the post for about four years never did. As if that was not enough, Mpofu has vowed to add 30 more tollgates this year across the country.
Zimbabwe had 22 tollgates before Mpofu added two extra, one in Goromonzi and another in Kwekwe, late last year. He is adding 10 more tollgates this coming month (April) and 20 more tollgates within the next few months.