The trial of 13 Alpha Omega Dairy workers facing charges of stealing various dairy products valued at $704,50 started yesterday with all of them denying the charges.
Alpha Omega Dairy is a subsidiary of Gushungo Holdings which is owned by the First Family.
James Wellington Mugombi (35), who is employed as a factory manager, Zondai Kayinga (28), a security guard, Kenneth Mugabe (40) a truck driver, Jacob Musasa (42), sales representative responsible for the entire management of the company, Abel Mutongerwa (33) assistant sales representative responsible for vendors, Alec Kudangirana (27), Mackenzi Richard Makufa (35), Abraham Chiwurira (36), Ignatius Mubani (34), Tafadzwa Chidzedzedze (25), Joramu Mugundani (25), Takudzwa Muchena (21) and Joseph Muzokura (21) — who are all warehouse assistants — are facing theft charges.
In denying the charges, Chidzedzedze, Mugundani, Muchena and Muzokura said their duties were only to offload goods from the truck. They told the court that they saw the excess goods while offloading the truck and reported the matter to the security personnel.
Harare magistrate Ms Vongai Muchuchuti deferred the matter to April 26 for trial continuation. Allegations are that sometime this month, Nyoni received information that the 13 were conniving to steal stocks from Alpha Omega depot in Mazowe.
The court heard that Mugombi would instruct Mukufa to load extra goods in the delivery trucks from Mazowe depot to the Harare distribution depot after conniving with Mubani, who is based in Harare.
It is alleged that Mukufa would also team up with Kudangirana and Chiwurira to load extra goods in the presence of Kayinga, who would then certify that the goods loaded tallied with the accompanying invoices.
The goods would be driven to Harare by Mugabe. Upon receiving the extra goods, Mubani and his assistants Chidzedzedze, Magundani, Muchena, Muzokura, Mutongerwa, Musasa and Mugabe would sell the extra goods and the money realised would be shared between the entire team.
The court heard that, acting on a tip-off on December 19, Nyoni and his assistant Oren Hove went to the Harare depot and upon arrival they made an on-the-spot check and discovered variances in stock in the system and the actual stock at hand.
This prompted Nyoni to put an immediate measure that all stock from the Mazowe depot was to be verified upon delivery by him, and this measure was effected without the knowledge of the 13.
It is alleged that on December 20, at around midday, the 13 accused persons, using the usual modus operandi loaded and despatched a truck to Harare distribution depot being driven by Mugabe.
Upon arrival, it is alleged that Nyoni supervised the offloading of the truck and discovered that it was loaded with extra goods, leading to the arrest of the 13. herald