Black Opal Face of Zimbabwe second princess Mercy Kamanura has told the court that the jumpsuit worth $40 she is accused of stealing from an Edgars store in Harare entered her handbag miraculously. Speaking through her lawyer Mr Lovemore Mataruse when she appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Batanai Madzingira last week, the model said she was not aware how the jumpsuit ended in her handbag.
“The charge can be interpreted as attempted theft as she had not yet made her way out of the shop when the unaccounted for jumpsuit was retrieved from her bag,” said Mr Mataruse. “She was shocked to see the jumpsuit in her handbag. She wrote a statement admitting the offence, under duress.”
The first State witness and Edgars security manager Mr Isaac Kanyandura said they had put Kamanura under surveillance for a long time because of her frequent visits to the shop. “We became suspicious of Kamanura after we discovered that every corner of the shop she visited, she always left an empty hanger,” he said. “She earned herself a nickname which I cannot tell the court.
“When she came on this particular day, shop attendants and the security were alerted. After being caught with the garment she admitted and asked for forgiveness. I took her to the stores manager’s office where she was asked to put her apology in writing.”
Mr Mataruse said the apology was not written freely and voluntarily. Prosecutor Mr Progress Maringamoyo then applied for a trial within a trial to ascertain the circumstances under which the statement was given. The trial was adjourned to Thursday.
Mr Maringamoyo alleged that Kamanura used to frequent Edgars VIP customer stores and on the day she allegedly committed the offence she entered Edgars store at corner Kwame Nkrumah Avenue and First Street around 5pm.
She allegedly pretended that she wanted to buy clothes and took three dresses to the fitting room. Kamanura later emerged from the fitting room with two dresses and returned them to the shelve.
When a security guard searched her at the exit point, he found a jumpsuit in her handbag and she allegedly lied that she bought the jumpsuit at Edgars Joina City branch. The alert security guard dashed to the fitting room where Kamanura had tried the dresses and found the price tag that was attached to the jumpsuit discarded. Kamanura failed to prove that she bought the jumpsuit and was ar- rested.