Chitungwiza Mayor Jailed

Harare regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire sentenced Marange of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to three years in prison of which two were suspended for five years on condition that he does not commit a simmilar offence in the same period.

Giving out the sentence Nemadire said Marange abused his office as a public official and therefore a custodial sentence would do justice to the offence.

“A community service sentence or a fine would not have done justice to the offence because corruption crimes are on the rise and prevalent in this country. As a mayor he was in a position of trust and responsibility but he abused it. A custodial sentence will have a large bearing on would be offenders,“ said Nemadire before handing down the sentence.

Marange was convicted last week for corruption after he received US$1 000 from his bodyguard as a token of appreciation for facilitating the allocation of a residential stand in the dormitory town.

Nemadire said there was overwhelming evidence that the Mayor had committed an offence describing the State’s evidence as “very credible”.

Soon after the sentence was handed down Marange through his lawyer Advocate Linos Mazonde filed a notice of intention to appeal against both conviction and sentence which was granted.

The sentence comes as the 10 Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislators who were arrested on Wednesday, were freed but said they were seeking legal opinion from the Attorney General’s office on how to proceed with the matter.

“The charges of breaching peace that are being preferred against the legislators still stand but they were released without any conditions. The police said it is sending the docket to the AG’s office for legal opinion on how to proceed,“ said Human rights lawyer, Tafadzwa Mugabe.

The legislators were initially released from police custody late Wednesday night but were told to report back to the Harare Central Police Station on Thursday morning. They were then released unconditionally after the police failed to get a complainant on the matter.

The legislators were arrested after they went to the Ministry of Finance offices to enquire about the parliamentary vehicle scheme that they are entitled to.

According to one of the arrested legislators, the group was arrested while they were waiting to meet the Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary, Willard Manungo and later charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace.

The ten are Pishai Muchauraya, Prosper Mutseyami, Cephas Makuyana, Margret Matienga, Felix Mafa, Simon Hove, Piniel Denga, Amos Chibaya, Shephered Madamombe and another one who could not be confirmed.