A Bluffhill woman got the shock of her life upon returning from work and finding her costly silver Mercedes Benz missing after her gardener, Takudzwa Masawi, had allegedly disappeared with it about a fortnight ago.
In a dramatic turn of events, Masawi later collided with the vehicle in Hatcliffe Extension, failed to report the accident, contracted a motor mechanic to repair it and disappeared after failing to meet the bill.
The mechanic traced the owner of the vehicle using some papers that were in the car, leading to the eventual recovery of the stolen property.
On the fateful day, Sithembiso Ndlovu (39) recalls rushing to work in the morning leaving her car, registration number AET 4333, and everything else at her Bluffhill home in Westgate, in the care of her maid, Dorcas Moyo and the gardener.
Taking advantage of the prolonged absence of the maid who had gone to hospital, Masawi packed all his belongings from the home, stuffed them in the Mercedes Benz and drove away unnoticed.
Ms Ndlovu could not believe her eyes upon her return when she didn’t find her car.
Her investigations revealed that it had been stolen by the gardener whose mobile phone number was no longer reachable.
Apart from the car, the gardener allegedly stole the employer’s two doors and tyres.
Masawi had worked for the employer for less than five months.
He is still on the run.
Harare provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Luckmore Chakanza confirmed the incident and appealed for information that may lead to Masawi’s arrest.
“Employers should vet their prospective domestic employees and recruit from credible, traceable sources,” said Insp Chakanza.
Cases of domestic workers stealing from their employers are on the rise across the country, especially in urban areas.
In Bulawayo’s Morningside suburb, a gardener, Timothy Sibanda, used a duplicate key to get into his employer’s room in her absence and stole large sums of cash and a pistol.
A follow-up at the scene by police officers led to Sibanda’s arrest.