Just like what happened after the crucifixion of Jesus when the soldiers took his clothes, dividing them among themselves, Tony Renato Sarpo’s motorbikes were allegedly shared among top politicians, ministers, Police and even sold to various companies before the matter was finalised in the courts.
Emerging information shows that some of the missing exhibits were sold by Yagden Pvt Ltd Trading as Matabeleland Engineering Pvt Ltd to Peace Security. Delivery Note 4125 is in the hands of The Mirror issued on May 5, 2018.
The motor bikes were sold or misused by his partners at Yadgen, Wayne Williams and Regis Maburutse.
It is alleged Williams donated six motorbikes to former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko as a bribe so that the company wins a tender to supply a hammer mill and other equipment at his Mpoyenzi Mine in Matabeleland South.
It is alleged that the late President Robert Mugabe and former Minister of Mines Feddy Moyo also received motorbikes for an alleged tender to supply mining equipment to Bubi Milling Centre.
Williams was furious and refused to comment when contacted and told the reporter to write whatever he likes. “Don’t ask so many questions. Just write whatever you want,” said Williams.
Maburutse is also accused of taking some of the motorbikes for his campaign in 2018 in the Zanu PF Chirumanzu South primaries. He lost to the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) Barbara Rwodzi.
It is alleged in 2017, Williams and Maburutse, reported Sarpo for theft of trust property, alleging he stole 35 unassembled motorbikes.
The motorbikes were seized from Sarpo’s farm in Chiredzi, and stored away under ZRP Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Harare Commercial Crimes Division (CCD).
Matabeleland Engineering Loss Control manager Solomon Mateta signed an indemnity form on behalf of the company for the safety of the exhibits. When he was relieved of his duties he approached the Police to hand over the motorbikes.
He told CID Chiredzi that he was supposed to hand over the motorbikes but he discovered that they were missing. They opened a docket but later closed it on false inquiry although they did not have the motorbikes.
When Sarpo went to CCD to ask for assistance to retrieve the exhibits back into his care, they were not there. It is alleged the motorbikes were disposed of during the trial while they were still State exhibits, and some of the CID officials received the motorbikes to facilitate their unlawful release. Harare Resident Magistrate Ruramai Chitumbura acquitted him of the charges. The Magistrate issued a grant order for the motorbikes to be released to Sarpo.
Part of the Order by Magistrate Chitambura, dated May 4, 2023, reads: “RE: Release of exhibits State vs Tony Renato Sarpo CRB HREP4035/17. In respect of the 3rd count the accused was found not guilty and acquitted therefore the 35 unassembled motorbikes are to be returned to the accused person.”
National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi continuously said he is working on the matter but he was no longer picking calls.