Emmerson Mnangagwa’s driver has been spared jail after he was ordered to perform 315 hours of unpaid work for stealing a cellphone handed to the President as a gift when he recently hosted a field day at his Precabe Farm in Kwekwe.
Chamunorwa Tapa (45) was initially sentenced to 14 months in jail after he admitted to stealing the President’s $2 400 gift when he appeared before magistrate Ms Joy Chikodzore charged with theft.
Ms Chikodzore set aside five months of the jail term on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.
The remaining nine months were set aside on condition that Tapa performs 315 hours of unpaid work at Mabvuku Police Station starting today.
Prosecutor Mr Benjamin Chikerema had recommended that Tapa be jailed for 12 months with half of the term being set aside on condition of good behaviour.
He said Tapa’s actions were out of greed and proved that his moral blameworthiness was also high considering that he was working in the country’s highest office.
Tapa begged for leniency from the court, saying he was married with two wives and had children at university for whom he was paying fees.
In sentencing Tapa, Ms Chikodzore said his moral blameworthiness was high, which called for a heavy punishment.
It was the State’s case that on March 12 this year, President Mnangagwa hosted a field day at his Precabe Farm in Kwekwe.
At the field day, President Mnangagwa was presented with gifts by various companies, including the cellphone worth $2 400.
It was then discovered the following day that the cellphone was missing during reconciliation of the gifts at Zimbabwe House, leading to an investigation.
Tapi was arrested at State House on March 23 at around 6pm.
He led detectives to Mabvuku where the cellphone was recovered from one Jonathan Magaya.-State media