The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Sharon Chi­ware

A SHU­RUGWI-BASED po­lice of­fi­cer has been fined $200 for steal­ing $305 which he had been or­dered to hand over to a sta­tion in Gweru.

Learn­more Tembo (29) of Ton­gog­ara Po­lice Sta­tion pleaded not guilty to one count of theft when he ap­peared be­fore Mid­lands Pro­vin­cial Mag­is­trate Mrs Phathek­ile Msipa yes­ter­day.

Mrs Msipa found him guilty and or­dered him to pay a $200 fine by Novem­ber 30.

Fail­ure to pay would see the cop jailed 30 days. A fur­ther three months of his sen­tence were sus­pended for five years on con­di­tion of good be­hav­iour.

In pass­ing the sen­tence, Mrs Msipa con­sid­ered the fact that Tembo was a first of­fender.

“You are a first of­fender and you have three mi­nor chil­dren and an un­em­ployed wife to look af­ter. What I con­sider as ag­gra­vat­ing is the fact that you are a po­lice of­fi­cer who knows what is ex­pected of you and you went on to com­mit this crime by con­vert­ing the money to your per­sonal use,” she said.

In mit­i­ga­tion, through his lawyer Mr Arnold Sak­winji, Tembo pleaded for a non-custodial sen­tence as he feared to lose his job.

Pros­e­cu­tor Mr Bernard Ny­oni told the court that on Au­gust 10 this year, Tembo was tasked to re­mit $305 and some mail to Gweru Ru­ral District Head­quar­ters Fi­nance.

“The ac­cused per­son did not pro­ceed to Gweru Ru­ral District Head­quar­ters, but in­stead di­verted his route and went to an un­known des­ti­na­tion with the money and the mail. On the very day it was dis­cov­ered by his su­pe­ri­ors from Ton­gog­ara Po­lice Sta­tion that he had not re­mit­ted the money,” he said.

The court heard that on Au­gust 18, the ac­cused per­son sur­ren­dered him­self to Gweru Ru­ral District Of­fice with­out the money, lead­ing to his ar­rest.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions re­vealed that Tembo gave his fa­ther the money.

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