Ex-MDC MP denied bail

HARARE - Jailed former Buhera South MDC legislator Tangwara Matimba has been denied bail pending the hearing of his appeal.

Matimba is currently serving two years in prison after he was convicted of fraud.

Magistrate Hosea Mujaya last Friday dismissed Matimba’s application after ruling that he had no prospects of success on appeal.

Mujaya initially sentenced Matimba to seven years in prison before suspending two years on condition of good behaviour.

A further three years were suspended on condition Matimba pays back $95 000 to the complainant by end of this month.

During the bail application, Matimba’s lawyer Eric Matinenga said the police had not conducted thorough investigations and that the sentence imposed was severe.

“The court seems to have gone an extra mile to make sure the law must bite. One gives a critical analysis of applicant’s personal circumstances. Applicant has a family, takes care of nine other children and would 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,” Matinenga said.

However, prosecutor Michael Reza argued that there were no prospects of success in Matimba’s application.

“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,” Reza said.

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

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