CONSOLIDATED Miners and Allied Workers Union of Zambia (CMAWUZ) president Sumaili Mbewe has appeared in the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing over K108,000 cash belonging to Mabiza Resource Limited.

The accused is alleged to have withdrawn some money which was wrongly deposited into the union account.

Mbewe, 47, is facing a charge of theft, contrary to the laws of Zambia, but he pleaded not guilty.

It is alleged that between April 30, 2020 and May 29, 2020, Mbewe, jointly and whilst acting together with other persons unknown, stole K108,681 cash, the property of Mabiza Resources Limited.

When the matter came for trial before Lusaka Resident Magistrate Chinunda Chiwaula, CMAWUZ secretary general Reuben Mumena testified that police officers had requested for information from him regarding some money paid to the union.

He said the officers enquired about the procedure of how money was supposed to be withdrawn.

Mumena said that he told the officers that before money was withdrawn from the union account, the president or an accountant should be in agreement and sign.

He said the officers later asked him whether the procedure was followed in the manner K164,000 was withdrawn from the union account.

Mumena testified that he told the officers that the procedure was not followed and that he was not aware where the money was deposited or used after it was withdrawn from the account.

He said he was also shown a letter bearing his name, but signed by Mbewe and that the same letter was in connection with the withdrawal of the money.

Mumena testified that the K164,000, which was deposited into the union account was wrongly sent there, adding that the manner Mbewe withdrew the same money was not according to the union’s procedure, especially that it was wrongly deposited into the account.

“The first batch of K5,000 was withdrawn by Mr Mbewe. Other amounts were withdrawn using an ATM. After some time, Mabiza wrote a letter to the union demanding for the K164,000. The only money expected from companies like Mabiza is a subscription fee of K1,500 and not K164,000,” disclosed Mumena.

The State witness said because of the improper withdrawal of the money wrongly deposited to the account, the union’s image had been tarnished and that the relationship between the union and Mabiza, its social partner, was now sour.

He added that other companies would think that the union was not trustworthy.

Trial continues on April 14, this year.