Pambuka, Maziwisa convicted…..sentenced to 78 months in prison

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Former ZBC news anchor Oscar Pambuka and former Zanu-PF Highfield West National Assembly representative Psychology Maziwisa appear in court on January 10, 2018.
File Pic: Former ZBC news anchor Oscar Pambuka and former Zanu-PF Highfield West National Assembly representative Psychology Maziwisa were granted $800 bail

Former ZANU PF legislator Psychology Maziwisa and veteran broadcaster Oscar Pambuka have each been convicted and sentenced to a total 78 months jail term.

The duo which was facing two counts of fraud was sentenced to 54 months behind bars for the first count by Harare Magistrate Lazini Ncube.

During sentencing, Ncube said cases of fraud were on the rise and the court had to protect the general citizens as the convicts used their influence with former cabinet minister Samuel Undenge in the commission of the offense.

However, of the 54 months, 12 were suspended on condition that they restitute $12 600 to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC), another 12 months were also suspended on condition that they do not commit a similar offence in the next 5 years.

30 months were effected.

On the second count, they were each sentenced to 24 months in prison which will however run concurrently with the other 30.

The duo’s defense counsel Jonathan Samukange made an application for bail pending appeal before the presiding magistrate who dismissed it ordering him to go through the High Court first as is the procedure.

The State led by Prosecutor Michael Reza managed to prove that the two defrauded ZPC of $12 600.

Facts are that sometime in 2016, Maziwisa and Pambuka took a letter to ZPC from former Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge directing the firm to work with Fruitful Communications at intervals of six months.

On February 12, Fruitful Communications hosted a Zim-Asset conference at Meikles Hotel, where Undenge was the guest of honour.

ZBC covered the event, but on March 8, Maziwisa and Pambuka, with the intention of defrauding the company, brought an invoice of $12 650 to ZPC without work done.

On the second count, they were of attempting to defraud ZPC of $36 000 but the payment was intercepted and blocked after irregularities were noted.

The duo has already been booked in prison where they are saving their jail terms.