Filabusi resident magistrate Mzingaye Ephraim Moyo has been sentenced to 20 days in jail after he was convicted of theft of trust property.
A Bulawayo court heard Moyo received $962 in judicial fines, court fees, bail reimbursements which he was supposed to deposit into the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) bank accounts.
According to State allegations, Moyo converted court fees and bail money paid in cash and replaced it with electronic money.
Moyo, the court heard, deposited $531 instead of $962 into the bank accounts and converted the balance into own use before replacing it with electronic money.
Although Moyo pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft of trust property, Bulawayo magistrate Lizwe Jamela convicted him following a full trial.
Moyo was ordered to pay $500 fine by January 15 or spend 20 days in jail.
Magistrate Jamela suspended five months in jail on condition that for the next five years Moyo does not commit a similar offence.
He (Jamela) said Moyo’s defence was a mere attempt to justify his actions by explaining the motive behind his action as the terms under which he held the funds did not authorise him to replace it with electronic money as he had done.
State representative Denmark Chihombe told the court that on August 24 2019, Moyo received $962 being judicial fines, court fees and bail reimbursements funds which he was supposed to deposit to the JSC’s CBZ account number 02122988960043 and ZB Bank account numbers 4372570264080 and 4372570264200.
Chihombe said Moyo went on to deposit $100 into a ZB Bank account number 4372570264200 and $431 into another ZB Bank account number 4372570264080.
“Moyo converted the remaining $431, into his own use. On August 26, Moyo effected an electronic transfer of $431 from his personal CBZ account into the courts and administration fund as replacement of the money which he had already converted into his own use. Ncube had no legal right to convert trust of property in the manner in which he did,” Chihombe said.