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A Harare lawyer has been jailed two years for fraud involving US$57 350 after he was convicted of four counts of theft of trust property.

Thomas Sakutukwa’s law firm has since been de-registered by the Law Society of Zimbabwe.Harare magistrate Mr Adonia Masawi sentenced Sakutukwa to five years in prison but suspended two years on condition of good behaviour.

One year was suspended on condition that he restitutes the complainants.

Through his lawyer Mr Nathaniel Chigoro, Sakutukwa said he was remorseful, had been humiliated and stigmatised.

“There is no harsh sentence than knowing that you can no longer use your professional qualifications again. The devastating economic situation in Zimbabwe is grinding decent and innocent people until they fall into temptation,” said Mr Chigoro.

“Sakutukwa is not a prodigal son. He invested the money with a South African company, investing US$213 000. He is also a director of Security Solutions (Pvt) Ltd and News Native Properties (Pvt) Ltd,” said Mr Chigoro.

Sakutukwa is married and has four children.

In aggravation, Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza urged the court to give Sakutukwa a custodial sentence.

“It is not right for legal practitioners to steal from their clients in order to maintain their standard of living. Sakutukwa fled the country when he was released on bail. The Chinese say, cheat me once shame on you, cheat me twice shame on me,” he said.

Source : The Herald