Maziwisa, Pambuka beg to appeal conviction and jail sentence

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By Court Reporter

JAILED ex-Zanu PF Psychology Maziwisa (34) and ZTV broadcaster Oscar Pambuka (33) have approached a Harare magistrate who sent them to prison seeking leave to appeal their sentence and conviction.

Through their lawyer Jonathan Samkange, the two told magistrate Lazini Ncube that they felt his ruling was unfair and that the High Court may save them from jail.

The two were convicted and sentenced to six years last week for swindling Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) out of $12 000 in a botched public relations deal.

“The applicants feel there are prospects of success and want to appeal against both conviction and sentence,” said Samkange.

“If a different mind is made to look at the defence of the accused, the ruling may be different. We feel a different officer may come up with a different opinion or sentence and may be persuaded to order the accused to commit community service.

“It’s now trendy world-wide that first offenders be given community service especially when they are young so that they reform.”

Samkange asked Ncube to feel pity and admit that his sentence could be inappropriate.

“You must forget that you are the one who sentenced the accused,” he said.

“Also accept that there is a possibility that another court may give a lesser sentence.

“Also accept that you are a human being and can make errors. You will suffer no prejudice if the applicants are given a chance to approach the High Court and grant the accused bail pending appeal.”

The lawyer suggested $500 as bail among other reporting conditions.

Prosecuting, Michael Reza who opposed the application, said the state fairly presented its case.

“The state is opposed to granting of bail to the accused pending appeal because there no prospects of success on appeal.

“The State presented its case well, with five witnesses and documents to prove its case.

“The accused did not tender any proof or bring any witness to support their case. The High Court will only hear their mere ‘we didn’t do it’. There is no way the High Court will interfere with this court’s ruling,” said Reza.

Pambuka and Maziwisa misrepresented to ZPC that there were directed to do PR for the parastatal which was getting bad publicity over load-shedding.

They said they were doing the project in line with the government’s ZIMASSET program.

The two went on to read newspaper articles and news bulletins produced by other reporters on ZBC TV where Pambuka was employed on part time basis.

After this, they went on to claim payment from ZPC knowing that they did not do any work for the company.

The case was postponed to Wednesday for ruling.