Western Union boss loses 430 000 Euros to garden boy

A HARARE businessman who is a Western Union director has lost 430 000 euros, thousands of US dollars, British pounds and Botswana pula when his former gardener allegedly teamed up with two men and broke into his Umwinsdale home.

Kudakwashe Chapwanya (23), and brothers — David (former gardener) and William Jambwa (26) — appea-red in court yesterday for allegedly stealing from Mr Frederick Charles Matanda.

Mr Matanda a former member of the Zimbabwe Central Intelligency Organisation operating at the Reserve Bank, is a director of Western Union Zimbabwe and runs various business interests in the country.

It was not clear yesterday why Mr Matanda had such large sums of money in his house.

The three accused were not asked to plead to charges of theft and unlawful entry into premises when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Archie Wochi-unga, who remanded them in custody to November 2 for bail ruling.

Prosecutor Ms Tendai Chiduwa opposed bail saying the gang had committed this offence while out on bail on other matters before the courts.

Ms Chiduwa said William was on the run and was only arrested yesterday.

It is alleged that on October 8 this year, the three were on their way from the Harare Magistrates’ Courts where they had appeared for a routine remand hearing in a case of theft from a motor vehicle.

It is alleged that on their way home, they hatched a plan to steal from Mr Matanda as David had inside information of where he kept money.

The following day, the State alleges, the three teamed up at about 5pm and proceeded to Mr Matanda’s house in Umwinsdale.

Upon arrival, it is alleged, Chapwanya removed window panels and the brothers gained entry into the complainants’ house.

Chapwanya allegedly remained outside on guard.

The brothers allegedly stole 430 000 euros, £13 000, US$5 850 and P14 260.

They also stole 10 shirts, two pairs of trainer shoes, a Nokia 6300 cellphone, a black travelling bag, two shorts and a Sony voice recorder.

They allegedly packed their loot in the travelling bag before making good their escape.

The State says they shared the loot.

Mr Matanda, the court heard, discovered the theft on October 11 and made a police report.

Upon their arrest, property worth just US$3 870 was recovered.