The company is said to be owned by President Robert Mugabeâ€™s family and run by First Lady Grace Mugabe who has often shown it off to foreign visitors.
Steven Fino, 36, who was secretary to the managing director, pleaded guilty and told court he committed the crime because he was â€œearning too littleâ€.
Court heard Fino misrepresented that the cash in question comprised funds to be paid to five companies for services rendered to his employer and tendered fictitious supportive receipts.
He did this five times implicating companies including Toyota Zimbabwe, First Pack, Michael Harris Toyota, A.S accessories as well as Surrey. The matter came to light after an internal audit was carried out.
Ahead of his sentence Thursday, Fino broke down in court saying he was ready to restitute Gushungo Dairies.
The father of four told court he surrendered his motor vehicle as part of restitution, adding that he was offered a letter of non-disclosure after entering into this agreement with his bosses.
â€œWhen I was fired I asked for forgiveness and I surrendered my car valued at $5,600 as restitution but I was fired after this,â€ he said.
â€œI thought we would sit down and discuss how to pay back with my employer but things have gone the other way which I didnâ€™t expect. I even walked out with no employment benefits.â€
However, the state said his offence was so serious it warranted jail time.
â€œOf course, you are a first offender but you started at the deepest end,â€ said prosecutor Venencia Mutake.
â€œA fine or community service will trivialize the offence so custodial sentence will be appropriate in this case.â€
The magistrate then sentenced Fino to 48 monthsâ€™ imprisonment but suspended 10 monthsâ€™ on condition of good behavior.
A further 15 months were suspended on condition that he restitute Gushungo diaries $47, 327 before 25 April.
This was after Peter Simbarashe Mukanga, who was representing the company, said they value of the car Fino handed over at $3,500.
Post published in: Agriculture