A man who pretended to be a girl and got employed as a housemaid before he was unmasked at a police station has been slapped with an effective three- month jail term.
Leon Muzhuzha lied to the court that he was 16 years old but estimates said he was between 19 and 21-years-old.
This prompted Chinhoyi magistrate Miss Nyasha Kuture to suspend sentencing him pending the outcome of a probationary report and age estimate tests.
Age estimates put him at between 19 and 21 years, thereby making him an adult who can be sent to prison.
In passing sentence, Miss Kuture considered that Muzhuzha was a first offender.
She noted that cases of theft from employers were prevalent and a deterrent sentence was necessary to send a warning to would-be offenders.
Miss Kuture sentenced Muzhuzha to six months imprisonment before suspending one month on condition he restitutes his employer, Mrs Viola Mapuranga, the $40 he stole.
The magistrate suspended two months from Muzhuzha’s sentence on condition he does not commit a similar offence in the next five months.
This left Muzhuzha with three months in jail.
In mitigation Muzhuzha said he was a streetkid.
Miss Kuture considered his submission and said a prison sentence would be ideal as it would be difficult to monitor him if he got a non-custodial sentence.
It was alleged that Muzhuzha went to Mrs Mapuranga’s house at Stand Number 27 Cheuchi Farm in Chinhoyi on April 24 where he introduced himself as Patience Mapuranga.
He indicated that he was related to the family.
He was employed as a maid and worked for a week before leaving unannounced after stealing a cellphone and clothes valued at $150.
During his stay, he would sleep in the same room with the family’s 14-year-old daughter.
After vanishing from the house, Muzhuzha went to Epworth near Harare where he sought refuge at one Tatenda Kanazache’s house.
His host became suspicious and reported him to the police.
Upon arrest Muzhuzha, whose deportment resembled that of a woman, gave his name to the police as Anna Muzhuzha.
He spent the night in cells with other female inmates.
He was transferred the following day to Chinhoyi where female police officers who were searching him for the money discovered that he was in fact a man.
Meanwhile, Fungai Lupande reports that the leader of the Abundant Life Global Ministries (ALGM), Bishop Danmore Magorimbo (45), who was accused of raping a married congregant at his church claiming to be “cleansing her of evil spirits transmitted by her husband”, was yesterday acquitted of the of- fence.
In his judgment Harare magistrate Mr Adonia Masawi said the complainant’s evidence was contradictory.
Magorimbo could not hide his jubilation as his family and church members cheered in joy.
Prosecutor Mr Michael Reza told the court of his intention to appeal at the High Court against the acquittal.