HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
HUNGWE & WAMAMBO JJ
HARARE, 27 February 2018, & 20 June 2018
C. Chikore, for the appellant
R. Chikosha, for the respondent
WAMAMBO J: The appellant was convicted of two counts of fraud as defined in s 136 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23]. He was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment of which 10 months were suspended for 3 years on the usual condition of good behaviour. A further 2 months were suspended on condition of restitution.
The appellant appeals against both conviction and sentence.
The grounds of appeal on conviction attack the credibility of State witnesses and the analysis made by the trial court of the various witnesses’ testimonies.
The sole ground on sentence makes the bold assertion that the sentence induces a sense of shock upon a consideration of the numerous mitigatory factors in favour of the appellant.
The two counts of fraud arose around the allocation and payment for residential stands in Chitungwiza. The appellant was a councillor for a ward in Unit C Seke during the time of the commission of the offences.
The evidence adduced by the State was to the effect that the appellant misrepresented to the complainant that there were residential stands for sale in Chitungwiza and the complainants paid money towards the purchase of the said stands.
The evidence further reveals that at the time in question there were no residential stands for sale and thus that the appellant pocketed the complainant’s money with that full knowledge.
Various allegations were raised as regards the various state witnesses’ credibility. The court a quo in a detailed judgment analysed the evidence of the witnesses and made favourable findings on credibility.