By Staff Reporter
TWO of the four suspected supporters of Zanu PF aspiring candidate for Mazowe West constituency, Kazembe Kazembe, who were facing charges of theft of maize meal and flour worth $26,000 belonging to the latter’s rival, Tafadzwa Musarara, have been found guilty.
Foodstuffs worth 885 were recovered.
Bindura magistrate, Vongai Muchuchuti found the two, Jonah Ngwenya, who is the Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial secretary and party supporter Boyd Fungulani, guilty of an alternative charge of stealing foodstuffs from Musarara.
Ngwenya was sentenced to 24 months in prison, 12 of which were suspended on condition of good behaviour while the other 12 were converted to 420 hours of community service to be performed at Chipadze clinic.
Fungulani, who was found in possession of 20 kilograms of flour, was fined $100.
The other suspect, Lense Feranando, who is Zanu PF Mashonaland Central provincial youth secretary, absconded court and has since been issued with a warrant of arrest while the fourth accused, Shingirai Chisango, was acquitted.
In passing sentence, Muchuchuti said she had considered that the crime was premeditated and meant to disturb Musarara, who was also contesting the Zanu PF primaries.
“You are also being ordered to restitute the complainant whose restitution to be pursued at the civil court upon the production of documentation spelling out the value of the stolen goods,” she said.
The four, along with several other Kazembe supporters who are still at large, were accused of stealing cases of flour and bags of mealie-meal from a 30 tonne truck belonging to Musarara, who intended to distribute the food to his supporters in Mazowe West where he was a candidate in the Zanu PF primary elections.
It is the state case that on April 28, 2018, the accused approached the driver of the truck, Bachelor Mondii Mpalane, who was parked at Dandamera Shopping centre in Concession, removed his keys from the ignition before pulling him off the vehicle.
They started assaulting him with clenched fists and booted feet all over the body accusing him of interfering with their campaign in the constituency.
They went on to lock him inside a pick-up truck which was parked nearby, with registration number ADV 3622 and began looting the flour and mealie-meal, which they in turn loaded into the pick-up truck.
It was then that Musarara arrived at the scene with a police officer who arrested the pick-up truck driver.
The complainant and state witnesses were represented by Tymon Tabana of Rubaya and Chatambudza legal practitioners.