Paul Pindani in CHINHOYI
A HAULAGE truck driver with a Harare-based company, who stole copper that was destined for South Africa, before dumping the truck in Chegutu, has appeared in court.
Masimba Murombo, 47, of New Mabvuku, Harare, was arraigned before Chinhoyi magistrate Batsirai Madzingira, charged with theft. Murombo was employed by Biltrans Services (Pvt) Limited.
His lawyer, Tinashe Dzvore, of Mushonga, Mutsvairo and Associates, successfully applied for bail. Magistrate Madzingira granted Murombo $30 000 bail and he will appear again in court on May 26.
Prosecutor Clever Nyapfani told the court that sometime in March this year, Murombo, was supposed to ferry 31 980 tonnes of processed copper from the DRC to South Africa.
His truck was fitted with some Vehicle Tracking Systems devices, a Frequency Modulation Transmitter, including a sendem fleet management tracker, to monitor the truck’s movement.
The court heard on April 15 2022, Murombo upon arrival at Chirundu Border Post, hatched a plan and disconnected the tracking systems. He drove the truck to Eleven Miles truck stop in Lions Den, where he parked it.
Murombo allegedly lied to the controller that he was putting up for the evening at Lions Den.
The court heard that on the same day, at around 10pm, Murombo once again tampered with the tracking systems devices, for him to be able to restart the truck.
A signal was sent to Biltrans on the whereabouts of the truck.
Murombo disabled the trackers and drove to a bush near Hunyani, where he hid the copper. However, the company realised his truck was no longer on their radar.
Biltrans made frantic efforts to trace and contact Murombo to no avail.
The court heard the company then checked the GPS, and it was discovered that the truck was in Chegutu.
The matter was reported to the police and investigations led to the discovery of the truck, without the copper, in Chegutu.
The copper, worth $719 750, was recovered.