Nelias Shiri, Chronicle Reporter
A MICROSCOPIST at Mpilo Central Hospital, who allegedly stole 40 boxes of Covid-19 testing kits from the National TB Reference Centre storeroom and sold them to a local laboratory supplies company at $3 each appeared in court yesterday.
Bulawayo magistrate Shepherd Mjanja granted her $2 000 bail and remanded her to 29 March.
Makomborero Musonza (35) of Ntabazinduna Flats Mzilikazi Bulawayo, allegedly stole 40 boxes, each containing 25 Covid-19 testing kits.
The court heard she sold the boxes to Osten Mangowa who operates a laboratory supplies company in Bulawayo.
The offence came to light when a Ms Juliet Mudini blew the whistle after being found in possesion of the boxes.
Mangowa allegedly confessed that Musonza had supplied him with the test kits.
Investigations conducted at Mpilo Central Hospital uncovered that the stolen Covid-19 kits had batch numbers matching those supplied by the National Pharmaceutical Company.
A physical count was made and a shortfall of 22 boxes from the National TB Reference Laboratory was noted.
In his bail ruling, Mr Mjanja ordered Makomborero Musonza to continue residing at her given address and to report every Friday morning at Mzilikazi police station as part of his bail conditions.
She was also ordered not to interfere with State witnesses until the matter was finalised.
The state which was represented by Mr Terence Chakabuda did not oppose bail, saying it is the constitutional right for every citizen to apply for bail.
In her defence, the microscopist denied the allegations claiming that she purchased the medical testing kit from a South African company, Hilkud Medical Supplies owned by Mr Kuda Mudumo.
She further stated that she got the first delivery of nine boxes of Covid-19 testing kit which she supplied to Mr Osten Mangowa.
The accused person claimed that she had never stolen anything from anywhere as alleged.
Prosecuting, Mr Terence Chakabuda said on an unknown date sometimes in January this year the accused hatched a plan and stole 40 boxes of Covid-19 testing kit which she later sold to Osten Mangowa.
The stolen property is valued at $12 000-00 and all was recovered.