The trial of a Harare beauty model accused of stealing a jumpsuit from Edgars stores started Tuesday with the beauty queen denying the charges saying she was also surprised to find the trending garment in her handbag. Mercy Kamanura, 24, is the reigning second princess of Black Opal face of Zimbabwe.
Through her lawyer Lovemore Matapure, she told the court that the charge should be interpreted as attempted theft, arguing she had not yet left the shop when the outfit was retrieved from her bag.State witness and Edgars senior security officer, Isaac Kanyandura, said Kamanura admitted to have stolen the garment and wrote a statement conceding the offence.
“After the jumpsuit was found in her handbag, I called her to another corner of the shop. I treated her as VIP customer and she admitted to have stolen the jumpsuit,” said the security officer.
He added; “She told me she was sorry and I quote, she said ‘I was afraid to leave the garment I had hidden in the shop and I’m sorry for that, can you please forgive me’.
“She agreed to write the statement because she believed I was going to forgive her since I knew her and all the staff had come to know her.
“However I then proceeded with her to the police.”
Before they went to the police however, court heard the model was taken to the store manager’s office after Kanyandura told her she had to put her apology in writing so that he could show his bosses.
Kanyandura then wrote which was produced in court.
The document reads; “I was looking around Edgars shop and then asked to try a jumpsuit size 8 and 10.
“I then figured out the two were not my size but I took one jumpsuit and put it in my handbag and gave the other two to a shop assistant who was attending to me but I was caught at the exit door.
“I then admitted to taking the jumpsuit. I was not supposed to do so.”She then appended her signature, her Chitungwiza address and her phone number, court heard.However, the model’s defence lawyer interjected, arguing the statement was not written freely and voluntarily.The state, led by Progress Maringamoyo, then applied for a trial within a trial to ascertain the veracity of the claim.
The Edgars security officer told court the model used to frequent their shop and they ended up giving her a nickname which he did not disclose in court.He said Kamanura became a suspect because they would always find an empty hanger in corners of the shop she would have visited as well as in the fitting room each time she came to the shop.
Court was told that when they saw her coming on the day in question, shop attendants and the security were alerted and she was then caught red handed.The brand of the jumpsuit Kamanura allegedly stole is Free to be you and is exclusive to Edgars.
It is worth $40 and was produced in court as an exhibit together with the price tag, the hanger and Kamanura’s statement.Kanyandura said he could have made follow ups with the Joina City branch where the model is claiming to have bought the garment but there was no reason for doing so as it was clear that she had stolen the outfit from his shop Magistrate Batanai Madzingira postponed the case to the first of October.