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Ex-Labour Minister Kagonye convicted for stealing school laptops

by Staff reporter
08 Jun 2022 at 18:15hrs | Views
Former Public Service Minister Petronella Kagonye has been convicted for personalising computers donated to schools in her Goromonzi South constituency by the Postal and Telecommunication Regulation Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ).

Kagonye was Wednesday found guilty by Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti after a full trial, during which she denied the charges.

The Zanu-PF politician will know her full fate this Thursday when Muchuchuti is set to hand down her sentence.

Prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga proved that Kagonye diverted 20 computers to personal use.

The court heard she used the computers to buy support while campaigning.

In aggravation, Macharaga urged the court to give the former minister a custodial sentence.

"The accused should be given a prison sentence in order to send a message to those in the high offices who might be thinking of abusing public resources.

"She took advantage of the trust given to her by the country as the Minister of Social Welfare and these rural communities can only be developed if the technology of today reaches the children in time," said Macharaga.

In response, Kagonye's lawyer said the fact that she has been convicted was already a form of punishment.

"Since it will be all over the media, it is most likely that her reputation will be ruined," said the lawyer in mitigation.

Kagonye asked for leniency through her lawyer stating that she was a first offender and has a family to look after.

She was Thursday sent to Chikurubi Maximum Prison awaiting her sentencing Thursday afternoon.

The former minister was initially charged with three counts of criminal abuse of office but was acquitted on two counts at the close of state case in March this year.

Source - ZimLive