Former Highfield legislator Psychology Maziwisa and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) News anchor, Oscar Pambuka will spend the next 30 months behind bars after Harare Magistrate Lazini Ncube convicted them on two counts of fraud.
The duo whose public relations consultancy firm Fruitful Communications was awarded a tender by the former Energy minister, Samuel Undenge were charged of defrauding Zimbabwe Power Company of $12 000.
According to the state Pambuka and Maziwisa never carried out any work for ZPC though they billed the company for news articles produced by the state broadcaster in the process prejudicing the parastatal of $12,000.
“Cases of this nature are on the rise and it is court’s duty to ensure that all offenders get an appropriate punishment. A fine or community service will trivialise the offence. The charges the accused are facing call for a deterrent sentence since it involves abuse of public funds,” said Harare Magistrate Lazini Ncube.
“Pambuka was not supposed to claim any money for programmes broadcasted on ZBC because he was already on pay roll. The correct position is that he had no authority whatsoever to claim money from ZPC. I’m therefore convinced that the state managed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.”
They were sentenced to 54 months each on the first count with 12 months suspended on condition that they pay back $12 000 to ZPC with a further 12 months suspended on condition of good behavior.
The duo were also sentenced to 24 months each on the second count.