Home » Judicial » Shiri Conman Convicted

A Harare man, Brian Tarisai Kambasha, was yesterday convicted of stealing $50 000 from Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander Air Marshal Perrance Shiri in a botched solar power system deal and will be sentenced today.

Kambasha (32) was convicted of theft of trust property together with his company, Hemmingworth (Pvt) Ltd, after a fully contested trial.

In his judgment, magistrate Mr Milton Serima said Kambasha’s case was not different from that of “diesel n’anga” Rotina Mavhunga who made false representations to top Government officials.

“The accused person duped a high- ranking person who parted ways with his $50 000 for nothing after he was made to believe that all was in the right direction. His case is not different with that of Rotina Mavhunga, who also lied to top officials,” he said.

He added: “He was cunning from the beginning as he also misrepresented to President Mugabe that his project was genuine, prompting the Head of State to try and help him access a loan from the bank. This level of cunning behaviour shows the kind of person who can use any tricks to dupe people.”

Mr Serima said the State managed to prove a case against Kambasha and his company, stating that the two did not meet their obligation.

“The accused was to deliver and install the plant as per their agreement. Complainant met his obligation and paid the money. The question is whether the accused fulfilled their obligations and the answer is no.

“What they did is not what they agreed with the complainant and they failed to give a satisfactory answer as to what the money was used for,” he said.

In aggravation, prosecutor Miss Sharon Mashavira said only a custodial sentence was appropriate in the circumstances.

“He did not have any defence to offer. Instead he just wasted the court’s time by pleading not guilty. He deserves nothing but a custodial sentence. He tried to drag names of people in higher offices into this case but this did not help him,” she said.

“He also dragged the name of the complainant into disrepute by alleging that he was abusing his office by taking him to court. He should be given a sentence which will hinder would-be-offenders,” she said.

In mitigation, Kambasha through his lawyer Mr Tazorora Musarurwa, pleaded for the court’s lenience arguing that he did not benefit anything from the offence. He pleaded for a wholly suspended sentence coupled with restitution.

After hearing submissions from both counsels, Mr Serima remanded Kambasha in custody to today for his sentence.

Mr Musarurwa unsuccessfully applied to have him remanded out of custody.

The State submitted that he could abscond considering that he was convicted of a serious offence which called for a prison term.

Source : The Herald