Doctors flush gems out of thief

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MUTARE – Doctors have flushed out two diamond pieces from one of three Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Mining Company (ZCDC) gem sorters on trial for swallowing the precious stones.


The medical procedure was performed on 31-year-old Pfungwai Sithole, more than ten days after he ingested the stones.


Sithole, Talent Madeure, 27, and Tendai Masango, 32 — all jointly charged — had been starving themselves to limit bowel movements, while seeking freedom through bail.


However, the trio’s freedom celebrations were short-lived after they were rearrested on contempt of court charges for refusing the medical procedure to flush out the highly-priced gems, as directed by magistrate Innocent Bepura who had consented to their release on $200 bail.


Three more pieces allegedly swallowed by one of Sithole’s accomplices are yet to be flushed out.


The three are facing allegations of theft and an alternative charge of unlawfully dealing in or being found in possession of precious stones.


It is the State’s case that on March 5, 2017 at around 3am at ZCDC, Sithole and company were allegedly fixing a blocked diamond conveyor belt and were seen by a security guard swallowing diamonds.


The trio was subsequently arrested.


The three unsuccessfully tried to have the matter dismissed before prosecution, claiming inhuman-treatment at the hands of the police.


They claimed to have been forced to eat ground nuts and milk only in an effort to induce bowel movement, as well as defecating in buckets under watch, which they argued was a denial of their right to privacy.


They also claimed to have been illegally taken to hospital for x-rays.


Detective Elliot Mucharuona denied their claims.

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