Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa’s housemaid was yesterday slapped with a 36-month jail term for stealing US$25 000 from her boss.
Tracy Manase (59) from Chizemo village, under Chief Mutambara, appeared before Mutare magistrate Nortilda Muchineripi who, however, suspended 12 months of the sentence on condition that she restitute US$15 000.
Another 12 months were suspended on condition she will not commit a similar offense in the next five years.
In her mitigation, Manase told the court she was paid a paltry ZWL$120 monthly, suggesting that this may have tempted her to steal the money. She then begged for forgiveness.
“I was being given ZWL$120 as my salary,” she said
“I am asking for forgiveness my Lord, l want to call my sons and relatives so that they can pay back the money.”
The complainant in the matter is Joyce Mukono (49) from Zimre Park in Harare and is not employed.
According to the State, in March this year, the complainant gave her sister Mutsvangwa, who was the accused’s employer, US$25 000 for safekeeping.
Manase reportedly took the US$25 000, resigned from her workplace at the end of May and went to her rural home in Chimanimani.
On an unknown date in the month of June the complainant asked for her money back and Mutsvangwa informed her that the money had gone missing.
The complainant carried out her own investigations and found out that the accused was hiring workers at her rural home and paying them in United States dollars.
The complainant made a report at Mutare Central Police and proceeded to the accused’s rural home with police officers where they recovered US$3 200 cash and groceries worth US$6 200.