Former MP, Psychology Maziwisa had pleaded with a Harare magistrate for a suspended sentence and offered to pay back the money he defrauded the Zimbabwe Power Company.

His lawyer,  Jonathan Samkange said a custodial sentence was uncalled for “What would be fair would be to sentence the accused persons to three years effective which would be suspended as follows: one year will be suspended on account that they restitute the $12 000 whereby they will be paying $6 000 each. “A further year is suspended on condition that they do not commit the same offence for five years and the last year can be suspended on account that they do community service,” he told the court.

But prosecutor, Mr Michael Reza, opposed this saying that fraud cases are rampant and therefore it was imperative for the court to send a strong signal by giving custodial sentences to ensure that others with plans to do so are discouraged.

“Your worship, crimes of this nature need one thing which I call the doctrine of the justice of fire. If one plays around with fire, then they are bound to get burnt. In the same light, anyone who commits fraud must be given a prison sentence. “What will be fair and just would be a prison sentence like the one that was given to former minister Samuel Undenge whose crime was linked to the accused,” he said..

Magistrate, Mr Lazini Ncube, said the evidence provided in court showed that there was clear misrepresentation on the part of Maziwisa and Pambuka.

“The evidence given by the state shows that the two accused (Pambuka and Maziwisa) clearly acted fraudulently as they lied to Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) that they had done coverage and advertisements for when it is Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s mandate to provide coverage for all Government entities. 

“Fruitful Communications did not have a contract with ZBC and the two accused indirectly used ZBC to deceive ZPC. They have therefore been found guilty on both counts,” he said.

After the sentence, Mr Samkange indicated that he will apply for bail pending appeal at the High Court.