Jailed ex-MDC MP seeks bail

HARARE - Jailed former Buhera South MDC legislator, Tangwara Matimba, has pleaded with the courts to grant him bail pending appeal to accord him an opportunity to pay the complainant restitution.

Matimba was jailed in February for an effective two years after he was found guilty of $95 000 fraud.

Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya sentenced Matimba to seven years’ imprisonment before suspending two years on condition of good behaviour.

Another three years were suspended on condition Matimba restitutes the complainant $95 000 by March 7 this year. The restitution period was extended to April 31.

In his bail application, Matimba’s lawyer advocate Eric Matinenga, who started representing him yesterday, claimed the court failed to clarify a number of issues before convicting accused person.

He said the police did not conduct thorough investigations.

Advocate Matinenga said the sentence which was passed was severe and urged the court to consider Matimba’s personal circumstances.

“The court seems to have gone an extra mile to make sure the law must bite,” Matinenga said.

“One gives a critical analysis of personal circumstances and applicant has a family and takes care of nine other children.

“We are looking at a person who must think twice before absconding.

“Bail will also give him an opportunity to pay restitution and it should be considered that appellant is a former legislator who has fallen from grace and whoever has suffered needs to be restituted.”

Prosecutor Michael Reza argued that there were no prospects of success on the bail application.

“The State is of the opinion that there are no prospects of success,” Reza said.

“Appellant must have led by example considering he was a legislator and businessman. He stole out of greed and not need.

“In fact, the State was agonising to appeal against the lenient sentence which this court passed.

“The sentence was not outrageous as to induce a sense of shock.”

Matimba was convicted of fraud after he sold a house on behalf of a couple living in the United States and pocketed $95 000.

Mujaya will pass ruling on Friday.

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