GWERU-Hardlife Sibanda (44) who was masquerading as the Regional Magistrate and conned a police officer has been slapped with 30 months in prison.
Sibanda was convicted by Gweru Provincial Magistrate, Tendai Killian Mahwe for fraud and impersonation.
He will, however, effectively serve 20 months behind bars after Magistrate Mahwe suspended 4 months for good behavior and 6 months on condition that he will restitute Loice Dube US$1 250 and ZW$120 000.
Prosecutor Taurai Mavuto told the court that, on the 26 September, 2023 at Gweru Magistrate Courts, Sibanda impersonated to constable Audrey Dube as a Regional Magistrate.
Sibanda, the court heard “went to the Magistrate Court police post holding a black gown with red stripe and introduced himself to the police as Regional Magistrate from Bulawayo,” added prosecutor Mavuto.
On another count, in June 2023, Sibanda went to Nehanda Police Station and introduced himself to Loice Dube a female police officer, as magistrate Chauke stationed at Hwange but currently on vacation leave.
He told Dube that he had an account with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) Beitbridge and can facilitate buying of cheap vehicles at their auction.
On August 2, 2023, Sibanda, then informed Dube that there shall be a vehicle auction at Beitbridge Border on the 15th of August, and that he saw a good Demio that was going for US$1000.
He then instructed Dube that if she was interested she could give his nephew Gerald the money, of which she complied and handed over US$1000 to Gerald at Africa Mall.
On August 5,2023, the accused phoned Dube to inform her that he had paid for the vehicle and needs a top up of US$250 for fuel and driver, including ZW$120 000 for ZIMRA clearance.
After he received the money, Sibanda promised to deliver the vehicle on the 15th of August.
He however, started avoiding Dube’s calls and on 26th of September 2023, the complainant heard that Sibanda was arrested at Gweru central police station, that is when she filled her report with the police.
Sibanda claimed to be from Hwange and at one time said he is from Bulawayo.
Efforts to get a comment from the Judicial Service Commission were fruitless as the Secretary, Walter Chikwanha was in a meeting.