Auxilia Katongomara, Chronicle Reporter
TWO BancABC tellers who were arrested for allegedly stealing $60 000 from their employer yesterday appeared in court.
Hloniphani Ngwenya (33) of Emganwini and Progress Moyo (26) from the Central Business district appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya charged with theft.
Moyo pleaded guilty to the charges and was given a wholly suspended sentence.
In sentencing Moyo, Mr Tashaya said a non-custodial sentence was appropriate as the stolen money had been recovered. “Assessing what your lawyer submitted, a non-custodial sentence is most appropriate. Your employer was not prejudiced in any way as the money has been recovered and that you did not waste the court’s time by pleading guilty.
“Incarceration would harden you as you would meet hardcore criminals in prison. Losing your job in this economy is punishment enough as your chances of getting another one are very slim particularly in the banking sector,” he said.
Mr Tashaya ordered Moyo to pay a fine of $400 or 90 days imprisonment coupled with a nine months suspended sentence on condition that he does not within five years commit a similar offence.
Agreed facts are that on October 17 at about 8AM, Moyo reported for work as usual and during the course of his duties he received two deposits — one of $2 106,25 and another of $3 554,20.
Moyo failed to post the two deposits worth $5 660, 45.
The court heard that Moyo stole the money and the Branch Team Leader Mr Tigere Maswera discovered the offence during routine checks.
A report was made to the police and investigations led to the recovery of the money from Moyo’s vehicle which was parked at the back of the bank premises.
Ngwenya also appeared before the same magistrate and pleaded not guilty to the charges.
He applied for bail through his lawyers Mr Hlabezulu Malinga, Mr Nozithelo Mpofu of Malinga and Mpofu Legal Practitioners and Mr Mehluli Tshuma of Chinamasa, Mudimu and Maguranyanga Legal Practitioners.
Mr Tashaya released Ngwenya on $400 bail, ordered him to reside at the given address, surrender his passport, not interfere with state witnesses and report twice a week at Tshabalala Police Station.
He was remanded to November 2 for commencement of trial.
The magistrate said the value of the stolen money or presumption that the accused would interfere with state witnesses was not a valid reason for denying one bail.
“Bail is a constitutional right and the reasons given by the state cannot be used to deny one bail,” said Mr Tashaya.
Prosecuting, Miss Leean Nkomo told the court that on October 17 this year, Mr Maswera carried out an end of day check on all tellers to verify business transactions on the computer system and collate them with cash held by tellers.
“During the process, he discovered that Ngwenya made false entries in the system to facilitate balancing. Upon verification, Mr Maswera discovered that Ngwenya was out of balance,” said Ms Nkomo.
The court heard that Ngwenya could not account or accounted incorrectly for $55 000 and R10 540.
Mr Maswera immediately advised his superiors and a report was made to the police.
Nothing has been recovered.