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    Sunday, 4 August 2019

    Police nabs $4m tar thieves



    NATASHA RAMBANAPASI

    CHIVHU – In a major breakthrough, Police detectives from Chivhu have arrested a Bulawayo man in connection with part of the $4 million worth of bitumen stolen from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development depot in Chivhu in April this year.
    The bitumen which was contained in 250 x 200litre drums was for the multi-million dollar road widening project of the Harare – Beitbridge Highway whose construction has virtually stopped because of serious shortage of resources.
    It has been established that a large consignment of the stolen bitumen was allegedly bought by Lazarus Demo who used it to construct a state of the art tennis court for international tourists in Msuna in Hwange. Demo allegedly bought 85 drums of the bitumen from two unemployed men identified as Armstrong Mpotegwa and Artwell Mahakwa in April.
    Mahakwa who was arrested in Bulawayo on Sunday appeared before Magistrate Sam Chitumwa at Chivhu on Tuesday and was remanded in custody to August 9, 2019 while his accomplice, Mpotegwa is on the run, the court was told.
    Court documents show that the two suspects hired two trucks from Bulawayo and 10 men for labour and they loaded 115 drums in the wee hours of April 4 and disappeared.
    Mahakwa denied the charges in court and said he only went to Chivhu to get his money from Mpotegwa. The Ministry of Transport administration clerk in Chivhu, Tendai Nyagwande is the complainant in the case. The drums were delivered to Chivhu by Fossil-Contracting Company.
    Thirty of the 115 drums were allegedly sold to Silvester Murwira who was found with 30 drums at his Ipomea Enterprises in Morningside, Bulawayo by the Police.
    The court was told that the accused hired drivers, Tafadzwa Koto (35) and Nkululeko Sibanda (40) and 10 unidentified men.
    The accused directed the trucks to Transport offices in Chivhu where they loaded the drums.
    Acting on a tipoff, Chivhu CID tracked and interviewed the drivers who led the Police to the places where they delivered the drums. The buyers of the tar are the ones who then indicated the sellers of bitumen to the Police and implicated the accused.#Masvingo Mirror#

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