A 27-YEAR-OLD man from Harare, who had been on the run for a month, was yesterday sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment after he was convicted of stealing 350 newspapers from Alpha Media Holdings and Zimpapers.
Kudakwashe Chimbiya will not spend time in jail, as two months were suspended on condition he does not commit a similar crime in the next five years. The remaining eight months were suspended on condition he performs 210 hours of community service at George Stark Primary School in Mbare.
Chimbiya appeared before Mbare magistrate Kudzai Zihove where he pleaded guilty to theft charges.
The court heard that between August 1 and September 18 this year, Hugh Mbangati and Enock Tsvarai, who are employed by the Herald and NewsDay respectively , as part of their duties delivered newspapers at OK Supermarket in Ardbennie.
The court heard that the newspapers would then mysteriously go missing from where the duo would have left them.
The court further heard that Tsvarai and Mbangati came to realise the anomaly after failing to receive confirmation of receipt of invoices from OK for the newspapers.
Mbangati and Tsvarai then hatched a plan to find out what was happening to the newspapers and arranged with one Clement Nehumba to hide and see who was taking the newspapers.
The court further heard that on September 13 around 6am after Tsvarai and Mbangati delivered the papers, Nehumba saw Chimbiya and an accomplice, who has already been sentenced over the same matter, taking some newspapers from the piles.
Nehumba chased the two, but only managed to catch Chimbiya’s accomplice, who then assisted the police in the apprehension of the latter.
In mitigation, Chimbiya said he stole the papers because he had a lot of financial needs to meet, but he was ready to restitute if the court gave him time to do so.
“I stole the papers so that I could sell them and get money to look after my family. I am willing to pay back,” Chimbiya said.
Yvonne Gurira appeared for the State.