By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
A CHINHOYI-based driving school female manager has been sentenced to a custodial jail term for stealing US$1 900 from her colleague’s house.
Margaret Makosa aged 27 of Gunhill suburb in Chinhoyi was Wednesday slapped with 15 months imprisonment for unlawful entry.
However, Makosa, who pleaded not guilty, had three months of the sentence suspended for five years, on condition she does not commit a similar offence.
Magistrate Melody Rwizi further set aside six months on condition Makosa restitutes complainant, Mukudzei Masangomai (26), the stolen cash before 30 November 2021.
This means Makosa will serve an effective six months behind bars.
In her defence, Makosa, who was represented by lawyer Tinashe Dzvore, argued she never stole the cash and denied the chronological account of events on the day the money went missing as given by her aggrieved friend.
She further alleged Masangomai, who is employed by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), was framing her on trumped-up charges, with the help of her landlord, daughter to the house owner, and the police.
The state-led by Tendai Tapi told the court on 3 January this year, at around 10 am, Makosa went to Masangomai’s lodgings in Mzari suburb, where she found her in the company of her daughter.
She reportedly asked for a change for US$100 from Masangomai who went and unlocked her wardrobe containing US$1 900 before drawing out a US$10 note and put back the rest of the cash.
The court heard that at around 11 am the same day, the accused person requested Masangomai, her unnamed daughter, and one Mellisa to accompany her to Orange Grove suburb where she wanted to visit an uncle.
The quartet jumped into the accused’s Nissan March vehicle and drove to the uncle’s place and later returned to Masangomai’s rented house at around lunchtime.
Whilst in the house, Makosa told the complainant that she wasn’t feeling well and asked for some pain stop tablets.
Makosa slept on the complainant’s bed for a while before waking up around 3 pm. She then offered to take everyone to the motel to enjoy dinner later that evening.
In preparation for the outing, Makosa asked to be accompanied to her Gunhill home in order for her to change clothes.
Whilst at Gunhill, Makosa told Masangomai that she wanted to dash to Banket town, some 20 kilometres away, to collect her lover only identified as Gono.
She vanished only to return bragging that her boyfriend, who could not come over due to other pressing commitments, had given her US$150 to spend.
At around 6 pm, they proceeded to Orange Grove Motel where they found the place closed.
They decided to go to Masangomai’s residence where she discovered her money was missing.
The complainant requested Makosa to take her to Chinhoyi Central Police Station, but she refused.
Makosa reasoned that the cash had been taken by goblins. The following morning, Masangomai made a police report and investigations nailed Makosa.
Nothing was recovered.