IN THE HIG COURT OF ZIMBABWE
BULAWAYO 24 MAY 2018
MAKONESE J: It is important for trial magistrates to ensure that the sentences they impose against convicted persons are correct by double checking the sentence that has been handed down before signing and submitting the record for scrutiny. The terms of community service that are usually recorded on an annexure to the charge sheet must also be verified to ensure that the recorded terms are accurate and in sync with the sentence imposed. Failure to do so may have far reaching effects on the fate of a convicted person who may serve an entirely wrong sentence.
The accused appeared before a Provincial Magistrate at Western Commonage on the 27th December 2017. She was facing a charge of deliberately supplying false information to a public authority as defined in section 180 (1) (a) (b) of the Criminal Law Codification & Reform Act (Chapter 9:23). The allegation against the 19 year old accused being that she unlawfully and intentionally supplied information to Memory Moyo, a police officer to the effect that she had been raped by one Bernard Ndlovu. The false information had led to the arrest of Bernard Ndlovu on rape allegations. She pleaded guilty and was duly convicted. The accused then appears to have been sentenced twice. On the charge sheet the learned magistrate recorded that accused was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment of which 3 months imprisonment was suspended for 5 years on the usual condition of future good conduct. On the annexure to the community service form the sentence recorded, however, was 6 months imprisonment of which 3 months imprisonment was suspended for 5 years on condition accused did not within that period commit any offence of which falsely supplying information is an element and for which