Former Finance deputy minister Terrence Mukupe has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years for fraud. Handing down sentence this morning, High Court judge Benjamin Chikowero also slapped Mukupe with a US$12 780 fine for fleecing the State of US$55 591-60 in import duty after he smuggled 189 979 litres of fuel from Mozambique.
The court heard that after smuggling the diesel through Forbes Border Post on January 27, 2017 claiming it was in transit to the DRC, Mukupe and his accomplices sold the fuel in Zimbabwe and later filled the tankers with water before being intercepted at Chirundu Border Post three days later.
Justice Chikowero, however, suspended six months on condition of good behaviour, leaving the Zanu PF central committee member to serve an effective three-years jail term.
Mukupe’s accomplices Same Kapisoriso, Joseph Taderera and Leonard Mudzuto also received similar sentences.
He said in coming up with an appropriate sentence, he considered that Mukupe has 10 children with the eldest 14 years of age and that he also employed 102 individuals.
Justice Chikowero said he was surprised that the matter took seven years to come to trial despite the fact that it was a simple and straightforward matter.
“lt was an inordinate delay for the matter to come to trial and it’s now seven years. Nobody has explained the delay although the matter is simple and straightforward. The sentence they would have received at that time would have been different as of now.
“Although Zimra (Zimbabwe Revenue Authority) managed to recover its duty, the accused cannot take credit for paying the duty later because the offence was already executed in detail,” Justice Chikowero said.
The judge said the convicts benefited from the offence as Zimra did not recover the diesel except the duty.
“The diesel was not for personal use but for selling. The offence was committed by an organized syndicate and organized criminals do not respect the borders of any country. This offence tainted Zimra as a corrupt institution,” Justice Chikowero said.
In other news – Rahman Gumbo granted state-assisted funeral
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has accorded late Rahman Gumbo a state assisted funeral as Zanu-PF appeared Wednesday to have hijacked the Zimbabwe national football team and Highlanders legend’s funeral arrangements.
In correspondence written on a Zanu-PF letterhead and addressed to the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Martin Rushwaya, party secretary general Obert Mpofu addressed the former Warriors head coach as “Cde Gumbo”, a common title among Zanu-PF loyalists, amid indications the party’s provincial office in Bulawayo was coordinating the funeral arrangements. Read More