Police officers in court for stealing $2K gold

Four police officers stationed in Fort Rixon have been arrested for allegedly stealing 160kilograms of gold ore with a value of US$2000.

A Bulawayo court heard the four stole the gold ore from Sheep Skin A mine after they raided the mine forcing mine employees who were processing the ore to flee.

Evans Mandipaza (38), Forbes Moyo (46), Joseph Shumba (32) and Godknows Ruwanika (34) pleaded not guilty to a theft charge when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Franklin Mkhwananzi who remanded the quartet out of custody to September 5 for trial.

State representative Mufaro Mageza told the court that on July 10 at around 12 noon the police officers drove to Sheep skin A mine.

“Some employees of Sheep skin A mine who were crushing gold ore preparing it for milling fled when they spotted the police vehicle, leaving it (gold ore) unattended,” said Mageza.

Mageza said the employees hid at a distance and observed as the police officers loaded all the gold ore into plastic bags.

“The police officers loaded the gold ore into empty bags that were lying on the ground and put it in the car. They took it to an unknown destination,” said Mageza.

The prosecutor told the court that the employees then called Elijah Sithole, mine owner, informing him of the incident.

The court heard Sithole subsequently made a report at Fort Rixon Police station leading to the arrest of the quartet.

Mageza said nothing was recovered from the stolen gold.

Meanwhile, Mageza said Mandipaza and Ruwanika are facing separate theft charges for stealing property at the same mine on a different occassion.

The State alleges the pair went to Sheep Skin A mine on July 9 demanding to see documentation pertaining to the mining operations.

“The pair were referred to Sithole but he was not at the mine at the time. Before they left they took a hammer mill crank, a shovel, plastic dish and two blankets,” he said.

Mageza said of the stolen property only the hammer mill crank and two blankets were recovered.

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