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Police hunt fugitive ‘gold thief’

By Andile Tshuma

Police in Bulawayo are appealing for information that may lead to the arrest of a fugitive connected to a US$391 000 gold theft case involving three police officers, a lawyer and a magistrate.

Jefat Chaganda
Jefat Chaganda

They identified the man as 53-year-old Jefat Chaganda whose National Identity number is 63-748382 T 71.

He is accused of theft and defeating the course of justice.

Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said Chaganda produced fake documents purporting to be employed at a local mine, giving him authority to possess the gold.

“The circumstances behind the case are that, sometime in 2019 and in a trial for theft of gold worth US$391 031 which occurred at Plumtree station, the wanted person allegedly produced fake employment papers to the court claiming to have been employed at a mine giving legality of possessing the gold in question,” said Inspector Ncube.

Inspector Ncube said Chaganda connived with a syndicate comprising of former Plumtree magistrate Mr Timeon Tavengwa who at the time was presiding over the matter, a lawyer and three police officers to be acquitted of the case, where he was then allowed to sell ‘his’ gold legally before sharing the proceeds with his partners in crime.

“Having connived with the then Plumtree magistrate Timeon Tavengwa who was trying the case, Admire Rubaya a legal practitioner, Sidingimuzi Ncube, Tyson Ruvambo and Ladious Tinacho all police officers from Plumtree successfully got acquitted in the case and Chaganda was given the gold to dispose through Fidelity (Printers and Refiners). After the sale of the gold, all the accused persons are alleged to have shared the money,” said Inspector Ncube.

He said all named syndicate members are facing a case of defeating course of justice although Chaganda fled and remains on the run.

Police said Chaganda absconded from court on May 12, 2020.

His last known place of residence was Plumtree town.

“His current whereabouts are unknown and his last known address is house number 910 Mathendele, Plumtree and was not employed. Anyone with information regarding the missing person’s whereabouts may contact Superintendent K Mpofu of CID Police Anti-Corruption Unit, Southern Region on +263712 531 180 or +29260250 or any nearest police station,” said Inspector Ncube. The Chronicle