The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Satur­day, Septem­ber 21, 1991 — Si­mon Chim­betu, a pop­u­lar Zim­bab­wean rumba mu­si­cian, was yes­ter­day sen­tenced to seven years in prison by a Bu­l­awayo mag­is­trate af­ter hav­ing been con­victed of steal­ing a mo­tor car val­ued at $30 000.

Chim­betu (32) had pleaded not guilty to the charge be­fore re­gional mag­is­trate Mr Ni­cholas Ndou.

Two years of his sen­tence were con­di­tion­ally sus­pended for three years. Soon af­ter sen­tence, Chim­betu’s de­fence coun­sel, Mr Cuth­bert Mpame, made an ap­pli­ca­tion for bail pend­ing ap­peal against con­vic­tion. The grounds for the ap­peal were that Chim­betu was likely to win his ap­peal be­cause the State had re­lied on cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence to con­vict him. The mag­is­trate dis­missed the ap­pli­ca­tion and re­fused Chim­betu bail on grounds that he had no chance of win­ning the ap­peal.

‘’Once some­one has been con­victed and sen­tenced to serve, their chances of skip­ping bail are very high,’’ said Mr Ndou. Dressed in black leather jacket, Chim­betu lis­tened cooly as the mag­is­trate de­liv­ered his lengthy judg­ment, de­scrib­ing Chim­betu’s ev­i­dence as hav­ing been char­ac­terised by con­tra­dic­tions.

Mr Ndou told Chim­betu: ‘’You tried to con­vince this court that you never con­nived with Ka­zomba but it is ev­i­dent that you knew about the theft. The car was parked out­side your house in Glen­view 11 hours af­ter it was stolen from Bu­l­awayo and that could not be just mere co­in­ci­dence.’’ Ka­zomba (27) has ab­sconded.

Mr Ndou added that most car thieves came from Harare and that once some­one had his or her car stolen, it was very dif­fi­cult to re­place it be­cause cars were in short sup­ply in Zim­babwe. The state case was that some time in June last year, Chim­betu and his ac­com­plices, Ka­zomba, Ed­more Te­mai and Dzin­gai Murewa, stole a car from Bu­l­awayo and drove it to Harare. They stripped the car of parts and changed the chas­sis and reg­is­tra­tion num­bers. Tendai and Murewa have since been con­victed.

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