A 27-year-old maid of Mtendere Township and a security guard have been dragged to court for allegedly stealing laptops, gold jewellery and wrist watches worth over K130,000.
And a 41-year-old civil contractor of Avondale Abbas Elali has testified in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court that he found a two-plate gas cooker and other items which went missing from his home at his maid’s residence.
This is the matter in which Honest Phiri, 25, a security guard of Chelstone and Gertrude Ngosa, a 27-year-old maid of Mtendere Township, are charged with three counts of theft by servant and housebreaking and theft.
In the first count, Ngosa is charged with theft by servant.
Particulars of the offence allege that between January 1, 2018, and March 31, 2018, in Lusaka, being a person employed by Abbas Elali as a house maid, stole a jersey, schoolbag, a clock and a gas stove, all valued at K5,600, property of her employer.
In count two, Ngosa is also charged with theft by servant.
It is alleged that on September 16, 2018, in Lusaka, being a person employed by Elali as a house maid, Ngosa stole gold jewellery, four wrist watches, two HP laptops, an Acer laptop and K3,000 cash, property all valued at K131,000 belonging to Elali.
And in count three, Phiri is charged with housebreaking and theft.
It is alleged that on September 16 last year, Phiri broke and entered Elali’s house and stole gold jewellery, four wrist watches, two HP laptops, an Acer laptop and K3,000 cash, property all valued at aK131,000 belonging to Elali.
The duo appeared before Magistrate Felix Kaoma, Wednesday, and denied the three charges.
And testifying in the matter, Elali told the Court that on September 16, 2018, around 11:00 hours, he took his wife and children to East Park Mall and left their maid, Gertrude, at home.
He added that he left his master bedroom locked while the doors to the other rooms in the house were open.
Elali said the property where his house was, was secured by Arm Secure and it contained five other houses.
He added that the security guard who used to guard the main gate, Honest Phiri, used to work for the said company.
“The property, which contains six houses, is secured by Arm Secure where the guard used to work. Each house has a wall fence and two gates. Honest Phiri used to work at the main gate,” he explained.
Elali told the Court that around 15:00 hours, he left East Park Mall with his family, but on their way back home, he received a call from Phiri who informed him that three men entered his house and stole some items.
“When I reached the main gate, Honest Phiri opened the main gate and I asked him what happened. He asked me to drive to my house and would explain from there,” Elali said.
He said when he entered his house, he found some parts of the house were in a mess, while his maid was washing dishes in the kitchen.
He added that when he asked his maid what happened, she explained to him that three men went to the house and enquired about him, but when she informed them that he was not around, they tied her up with a rope and blindfolded her.
“I asked her what happened, she said there were three men who came to ask about me. Then she told them that I wasn’t in the house. After that, she was surprised seeing them walk in the house. She claims that they used a cable to tie her hands and legs and blindfolded her eyes so that she doesn’t see their faces,” he narrated.
“She showed me the cable, which they tied her up with. Up to now, I can’t understand how they (robbers) passed through the gate because the gate can only open with a remote. I had one remote with me in the car and the other one was left in the kitchen and it can be used by anyone within the house.”
Elali said when he inspected the house, he discovered that the door to his master bedroom was damaged and some items like jewellery belonging to his wife, K3,000 cash, Acer and HP laptops and four wrist watches were missing.
He added that when he went to his son’s room, he discovered that his HP laptop was also missing.
Elali said when he reported the matter to Chelstone Police, officers started their investigations and decided to detain Phiri and Gertrude.
He added that after two days, the arresting officer called him and asked him to take the officers to Gertrude’s house so that they could conduct a search.
Elali claimed that when they reached Gertrude’s house, he found some of his items, which went missing few months earlier.
“Two-plate gas cooker, my blue jersey, alarm clock for my son and a school bag for my daughter. She (Gertrude) said my wife gave her, but when I asked my wife, she denied,” narrated Elali.
He disclosed that he employed Gertrude in 2009 and her current salary was K1,500.
However, when Elali was asked by Phiri in cross-examination if he had ever entered his house or touched his gate remote, the witness said no.
And when Gertrude asked Elali if he had ever found her with anything that belonged to him during the period she worked for him, the witness also said no.