THE trial of a Plumtree woman, Sharmaine Mlambo (33), who is accused of stealing an imported motor vehicle by clearing and paying duty fees for it at the border town’s Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) office commenced Wednesday.
Mlambo, a car dealer from the border town, was recently arrested and charged with theft of a Honda Fit vehicle, which belongs to Marita Mangani (36) from Bulawayo’s Burnside suburb, who found her vehicle ‘gone’ after travelling to Plumtree to clear it.
The trial started with the State leading evidence from Mangani, who gave an account of how she bought her car from CarMax Africa, a private company based in Durban, South Africa and requested that that car be ferried to Botswana, while she sorted funds to pay duty.
Mangani said when she finally went to the ZIMRA offices at Plumtree Border Post to clear her vehicle she was told that the process had been done by Mlambo and she had already collected it.
The state represented by Willbrought Muleya, alleges Mlambo obtained a proforma invoice pertaining to Mangani’s car from the same company, yet it was not supposed to be used as proof of payment of the motor vehicle.
Mlambo, according to the prosecutor, went ahead and fixed the imported pre-clearance of the vehicle at ZIMRA Plumtree Border Post and paid duty.
When Mangani’s car arrived at Plumtree Border Post, which was under her name, as per the Customs and Exercise cargo manifest, Mlambo altered the name and entered hers.
Mlambo then proceeded to process the final clearance before taking the car into her possession without Mangani’s consent.
Plumtree magistrate, Tayengwa Chibanda, postponed the matter to June 17 for continuation of trial.
Mlambo, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, remains out of custody on ZWL$5, 000 bail.
Mangani has not yet been given back her car which is valued at US$1, 400. It is still being held as an exhibit.