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$300 fine or jail for smuggler Tich Mataz

21/03/2017 00:00:00
by Court Reporter

PROMINENT radio and TV presenter, Augustine Tichafa Matambanadzo, was Tuesday found guilty and convicted for smuggling clothes from China by magistrate Lazini Ncube.

Matambanadzo, better known as Tich Mataz, was sentenced to 2 months imprisonment.

He was, however, given an option to pay $300 before he asked for time to pay the fine.

Ncube then queried why he was asking for some time to look for the money yet he once told court that he had huge savings such that he couldn’t have dodged paying $538 duty.

The magistrate said if Matambanadzo failed to pay he would go to jail.

Matambanadzo’s defence was that he was excused by a Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) official as their system was down.

Prosecutor Francesca Mukumbiri proved that Matambanadzo vanished from the declaring cubicle after filling his declaration form when the attendant went to process his goods on another functional cubicle.

According to the prosecutor, when Matambanadzo arrived at the airport he took the green route, used by passengers without goods to declare instead of the red route.

He was then directed to the red route where he declared false information only to vanish from the payment cubicle when the attendant was processing his goods on the next cubicle as his system was down.

Making her closing submissions, Mukumbiri persuaded the court to convict Matambanadzo saying he deliberately committed the crime.

“He is a well-travelled person. He took the green route because he had an intention to smuggle, the court would have pardoned him if it was his first time to fly.”

State witnesses told court that Matambanadzo declared five suits out of seven he had.

He also had tracksuits, shoes and shirts among other clothing items whose duty amounted to $538.

Matambabadzo once applied for discharge at the close of state case arguing that no evidence was brought before the court to prove his offence but his application flopped after Ncube ruled that he had a case to answer.

Ncube said his lies built up his case.

Matambanadzo is employed by Zi-Fm Stereo and, according to court papers, he is the director.


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