By Miriam Mangwaya

TWO Transport ministry casual workers have been jailed for 35 months each after they were convicted of stealing diesel and vehicle parts meant for the construction of a 10km detour of the Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway in Chivhu.

Webster Wara (29) and Alfred Mafusire (21), pleaded guilty to siphoning 200 litres of diesel from roadwork vehicles at the Chivhu campsite when they appeared before resident magistrate Ngoni Nduna.

In a separate case, Mafusire was ordered to pay ZWL$400 fine or serve six months in jail at his own plea of guilty for stealing 10 batteries from roadworks vehicles at the Chivhu campsite. All the batteries were recovered.

The court heard that between January 22 and April 27 this year, Chida Muzondo, a security guard at the Chivhu roadworks site camp reported several cases of stolen batteries and diesel from roadworks vehicles to the police.

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On April 27, police received a tip-off that Wara was selling car batteries in Chivhu town. He was arrested and implicated Mafusire.

Wara led detectives to his residence where the police recovered three heavy-duty car batteries hidden under a bed and 125 litres of diesel which was in a drum in his dining room. Police also recovered seven more batteries from several individuals who had bought the loot from Mafusire.

Meanwhile, police are investigating a case in which 23 000 litres of bitumen tar meant for the Beitbridge-Chirundu Highway construction disappeared in Chivhu.