COP FINED FOR STEALING $300:
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.