Kwekwe Primary School headmaster Godfrey Machayaya (47), who allegedly tried to escape justice by pleading with top Zanu PF officials to force the School Development Association (SDA), to stop criminal proceedings against him was lucky to escape a two-year jail term.
Machayaya was convicted on Wednesday for stealing $1 200 from the school coffers which he had withdrawn to pay affiliation fees with the Better Schools Programme of Zimbabwe (BSPZ).
Magistrate Letwin Rwodzi slapped him with 24 months in prison but suspended six months for five years on condition of good behaviour, three months on condition he resituates the school by end of August, and the rest of the sentence if he pays a $500 fine.
Machayaya only used $2 to pay affiliation fees for the netball team and was issued with a receipt.
The State established that he then forged the receipt to reflect $1 200 before handing it over to the school bursar.
Both the original and forged receipts were presented in court as exhibits.
SDA secretary Owen Matava told the court that Machayaya had tried to use powerful figures in Zanu PF to have prosecution stopped.
“He tried to have top Zanu PF politicians to force the SDA to withdraw the matter while he pays back the money,” Matava told the court. Rwodzi found Machaya guilty but acquitted co-accused Maxwel Murisa of the BSPZ saying evidence led in court did not in any way prove that he was part of the headmaster’s scheme.
In passing sentence, Rwodzi said the State had fully established the headmaster had indeed withdrawn the school funds and converted them to his own use.
“The court established that the accused forged a receipt no 9753 from $2 to $1 200 and it is also evident that the State’s evidence went unchallenged by both accused persons,” she said before delivering her verdict.
The headmaster, who has been serving suspension since the matter came to court, pleaded for leniency saying he was the sole breadwinner of a family of three.
He told the court that while he had no savings, he only had a Toyota vehicle valued at $2 000 which he hoped to sell to pay off the school.