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Oscar Pambuka, Psychology Maziwisa head back to Chikurubi Prison after bail pending appeal thrown out

by Staff reporter
16 Sep 2022 at 19:02hrs | Views
FORMER Zanu-PF legislator, Psychology Maziwisa and ex-ZBC broadcaster, Oscar Pambuka, could be heading back to jail after their appeal against  conviction and sentence in the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) scandal was thrown out by the High Court.

The High Court has struck off the roll their appeal citing its invalidity.

Maziwisa and Pambuka were in 2018 caged six years by Harare Magistrate, Lazini Ncube, who found them guilty of defrauding ZPC of $12 000 after they were favoured with a public relations contract through then Energy Minister Samuel Undenge without going to tender.

Ncube released the two on $800 bail each pending High Court appeal on their conviction and sentence 10 days after they were jailed.

In doing this the magistrate considered the delay that may be taken in appeal, which may induce the accused to abscond.

Ncube, however, ruled there were chances of success on appeal before he granted the two ZW$800 bail each.

At that time, Pambuka and Maziwisa were serving an effective two and half jail term each after Ncube scrapped part of their sentence conditionally.

They filed an appeal on their conviction and sentence claiming they were wrongly convicted and sentenced.

Through their lawyers the two told court that their offence attracts a punishment of community service and not a custodial sentence.

They also said their prosecution was politically motivated.

During trial, the State had proved that the two misrepresented to ZPC that they were directed to do PR for the parastatal.

At that time the company was getting bad publicity over load-shedding.

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

However, it was proven that they would go on to read newspaper articles and news bulletins produced by other reporters on ZBC TV where Pambuka was employed on a part time basis.

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

ZPC lost $12 000 in the scam and could have lost another $36 000 if the misdemeanours of the two were not unearthed.

Judges of appeal, Justices Felistas Chatukuta and Pisirayi Kwenda dismissed the appeal stating that all the grounds of appeal were invalid.

"The merits of the conviction do not arise in an appeal against sentence. In addition to that, the notice of appeal suffers from the defect that it has no prayer with respect to sentence. The appellants have therefore not validly appealed against the sentence.

All the appellants' grounds of appeal against both conviction and sentence are invalid. In the result the appeal is hereby struck off the roll," ruled the judges.

Source - NewZimbabwe
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