FLORENCE Phiri (44), a maid from Mahatshula North suburb, Bulawayo, stole $28 000 from her employer Mrs Permian Macheka and went big and splurged part of the money on a car as a Christmas present for her husband.
Phiri appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Gladmore Mushove who convicted her on a charge of theft and sentenced her to 5 years in prison.
Phiri’s accomplice Eunice Mabhena (50) from Pumula North suburb was found not guilty and acquitted.
The court heard that in October 2016, Macheka of Hillside suburb sold 52 head of cattle and kept the money in her bedroom.
However, a few days later she discovered that $28 000 was missing and reported the matter to the police.
Detectives searched the maids and found Phiri with $100 of the stolen money while her alleged accomplice Mabhena had $700 on her.
Serial numbers on the money tallied with those of the stolen notes. The two maids were arrested and the remainder of the money was not recovered.
In passing sentence, Magistrate Mushove noted that the police had not been thorough in their investigations.
She also blasted the police for allowing Macheka to interfere with the investigations.
She sentenced Phiri to 5 years in prison and 12 months were suspended on condition that she does not commit a similar crime in the next 5 years.
A further 18 months were suspended on condition that Phiri restitutes the stolen money leaving her with an effective 30 months to serve.