Tanyanyiwa to remain behind bars

HARARE - Jailed ex-Chitungwiza town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa will remain in prison, after High Court judge Chinembiri Bhunu dismissed his bail application yesterday on the basis that there are no prospects of success on appeal.

Tanyanyiwa is currently serving an effective two-and- a-half years in prison after being convicted by Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya on three counts of fraud and corruption.

“In my view, the prospects of success on appeal are virtually nil,” Bhunu ruled.

“That being the case, it is difficult to perceive any misdirection on the part of the trial magistrate.

“It is accordingly ordered that the application for bail pending appeal be and is hereby dismissed.”

Tanyanyiwa had told the court that he never misrepresented facts and should have been acquitted.

He said his conviction was improper and that the magistrate had misdirected himself.

Sharon Fero from the Attorney General’s office had opposed the bail application, claiming that there were no prospects of success on appeal and that the magistrate did not misdirect himself.

Fero said there was a possibility that Tanyanyiwa might be tempted to flee if freed on bail.

Tanyanyiwa was initially sentenced to six years in prison on one count of fraud, before 18 months were suspended on condition of good behaviour within four years of his release.

A further two years were set aside on condition Tanyanyiwa pays back $80 000 to Chitungwiza Town Council.

He was also ordered to pay a $300 fine for defeating the course of justice, failure of which he is to spend a further month in prison.

He was slapped with another one year for the third count of criminally abusing office.

Mujaya said the sentence for the third count was to run concurrently with the sentence for the first count.

Tanyanyiwa was found innocent on seven counts of fraud, after prosecutors conceded that there was no incriminating evidence against him — a concession Mujaya commended as “professional and well-made”.

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