A Kwekwe man assigned by his employer to buy gold with US$16 500 reportedly went on a spending spree and blew all the money without using it for its intended purpose.
James Assima Gamton (42) of Mbizo Kwekwe was employed at Lisboa Mine Penhalonga and was given US$16 500 to buy gold on behalf of Raramai Nyakonga (35) who is a gold buyer.
Gamton allegedly gave US$5 000 to his girlfriend, Tafadzwa Mukono, and spent the rest on relatives and a family function.
Mukono confessed to receiving wads of US$10 notes amounting to US$5 000 from the accused.
Gamton pleaded guilty to the charges of theft of trust property when he appeared before Mutare magistrate Prisca Manhibi.
He was sentenced to five years in jail, with one year suspended on condition of good behaviour.
Magistrate Manhibi further suspended another two years on condition Gamton restitutes Nyakonga US$12 500.
Prosecuting, Sandra Mlambo said during the period extending from August 1 to 15, 2022 the accused was given US$16 500 by Nyakanyonga to buy gold at Lisboa Mine. She said:
The accused who was employed by the complainant was handed US$3 000 to purchase gold in Penhalonga. He bought gold worth US$1 500 and left with a balance of US$1 500.
On August 12, the accused surrendered gold worth US$1 500 to the complainant. He was given a further US$15 000 to buy more gold from the same mine.
He was supposed to return on daily basis with the gold but he suddenly disappeared.
The matter was reported to Police. Investigations revealed that the accused was with his girlfriend in Mutare CBD.
It was established that Mukono had already spent some of the money on his father’s memorial service in Kwekwe and also bought personal items
He allegedly gave some of the cash to a parent, siblings, and his estranged wife.
When Mukono was searched, she was found with only US$200 tucked away in her private parts.
Some of the money had been given to Rumbidzai Chitiza of Harare, Talent Sixpence and Eunice Fambisai for safe-keeping.