MP convicted …but his lawyer said the case is politically motivated

MDC-T MP for Chipinge West constituency, Sibonile Nyamudeza, has been sentenced to 30 days in prison for the theft of DDF’s precast pipes worth more than $3000 dollars last year.

The legislator was convicted by Chipinge also magistrate, Vuso Gapara, but was given an alternative to pay $300 fine.

Nyamudeza was slapped with a wholly suspended two months imprisonment which was suspended on condition that he will not be convicted of a similar offence in the next 5 years.

Charges against the MP are that sometime between February 1-28, last year, he stole or used without permission seven precast pipes belonging to DDF when he constructed a 15 km road in his area.

Nyamudeza pleaded not guilty to the theft charge, but State argued that Nyamudeza used the pipes worth $3430 without permission from DDF when he constructed the 15 km link road in his constituency.

Witnesses who testified during the trial said the precast pipes have been lying idle in the area for a long time though they were meant to repair the state road Tanganda-Bangwe link road in Chipinge.

The pipes in question measure 900mmX1.2 m. The state said although the legislator project was noble as the project, Nyamudeza deprived permanently DDF because the road under construction is not a state road.

Nyamudeza had opted to construct a 15 km link road in his constituency, using the government funded Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

In his defence, Nyamudeza pleaded his innocence and said he will appeal against the sentence and conviction.

“We are going to appeal against the conviction because there are no merits to warrant a theft case against my client,” his lawyer Langton Mhungu said.

He revealed that he was actually in the process of filing a notice of appeal.

Mhungu added that there was no specific theft intent in using the pipes for the community development and treated the matter as politically motivated.

Nyamudeza had pointed out that as a local MP his mandate was to spearhead developmental projects. Last Goredema prosecuted.

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