Gardener planted fake notes after stealing US$38,000 and £2,000 from doctor

HARARE – A doctor lost US$38,000 and £2,000 after his gardener raided his safe, replacing some of his cash with counterfeit notes, a court heard on Wednesday.

Gift Nyamayevhu, of Chihota Village in Mhondoro Ngezi, used some of the money to build houses at his rural home and also buy a five-hectare plot, Harare magistrate Babra Mateko heard.

He is jointly charged with his relative, Elizabeth Nyamayevhu.

The theft allegedly happened at Dr Gerald Nyoni’s Strathaven home in Harare. The doctor works at Parirenyatwa Hospital.

Tinotenda Masimba, for the prosecution, said Nyoni was keeping US$58,000 and £2,000 in a safe at his home.

Nyamayevhu, his gardener since 2019, was staying with his family at the residence.

The court heard that Nyoni would sometimes travel abroad, leaving Nyamayevhu’s family at the residence.

“He would note that some of his properties would go missing but did not look into it,” Masimba said.

Nyamayevhu allegedly stole keys to Nyoni’s bedroom before retrieving the safe keys from under some files.

The court heard that he stole US$38,000 and £2,000. He allegedly replaced US$6,900 with counterfeit US$100 notes.

On April 24, 2022, Nyoni unlocked his safe and took the money for banking. At the bank, he discovered he had US$26,900 instead of US$58,000. The £2,000 was also missing and US$6,900 of the money was fake.

Police investigators arrested Nyamayevhu and discovered that he also had several items belonging to Nyoni at his rural home.

Nyamayevhu implicated his relative, Elizabeth.

The police investigation uncovered that he had built a five-roomed house, a thatched hut and a blair toilet at his rural home using Nyoni’s cash.

He also bought a five-hectare plot in Mhondoro Ngezi.

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