AN EMPLOYEE with the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is in trouble after he allegedly decided to steal 25 litres of diesel from the parastatal’s diesel plant, where he was employed as a fitter.
Lawrence Mugwagwa (37) of Sizinda denied the theft charge when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Charity Maphosa yesterday.
The State represented by Danmore Kasenza called witness, Winston Mzamba, one of the security guards who reportedly caught Mugwagwa red handed carrying the 25 litre gallon of diesel to testify.
Mzamba told the court that on December 13 this year, he and his colleague, Washington Masase, were tasked to guard the fuel reserve plant and they started at 8pm.
“We observed people who were outside and those who were inside the premises,” he said.
“We could see what was happening inside at a distance.
“While on duty we met Mugwagwa and his colleague Methule Ganga and since we know each other, we greeted each other.
“They asked us what we were doing there and we told them that we were knocking off from duty and we were ready to go home.”
Mzamba said on December 14 they were on duty and they observed a person at a distance carrying a gallon he hid in a nearby bush.
“Other people were knocking off and were driven away in the bus,” he said.
“After that someone emerged and went to collect the gallon. He went further into the bush. It appeared to us he intended to get out of the NRZ perimeter enclosure, through an illegal opening.”
Mzamba said they then rushed to where they had seen the man leaving with fuel and that is when they discovered it was Mugwagwa, whom they informed was under arrest.
“He dropped the gallon and ran away,” he said.
“I had a gun and I could have shot him, but I saw that was useless, as we had already identified him since we personally know him. My colleague chased him a little and we saw it better to recover the stolen property.”
Mzamba said they went to NRZ premises, where they asked to see Mugwagwa, but he was nowhere to be seen. He said they asked to see Ganga, but he was not around as well.
Mzamba said a sweaty Mugwagwa arrived later with mud on his feet and was asked to explain what had happened. He said he suspected that his colleague, Ganga, had stolen the diesel. Mzamba said Mugwagwa told the police that Ganga had told him that he was hungry and wanted to steal fuel to sell and raise money.
Mugwagwa told the court that he did not know what Mzamba was talking about.