HomeLocal NewsMDC-T councillor convicted of fraud

MDC-T councillor convicted of fraud

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KWEKWE — Fired MDC-T councillor Johannes Ngozo, accused of duping desperate homeseekers of over $11 000, has been convicted.Report by Blessed Mhlanga, Staff Reporter

He was found guilty of six counts of fraud and one of criminal abuse of office and will be sentenced after his lawyer presents mitigation today.

The councillor is already in jail over failure to settle a $2 300 debt.

In his judgment, provincial magistrate Taurai Manwere said the court was convinced Ngozo had abused his position to dupe homeseekers of their hard-earned cash for his personal benefit.

“All complainants trusted accused person since he is a councillor and chairman of a housing committee . . . It is clear in my mind that accused converted the money to his own use and through his own admission, only refunded part of the money to some of his victims after they had reported the matter to the police.

“He used the same modus operandi to dupe desperate homeseekers and instead of using his position to improve the lives of people who elected him to office, he abused it to dupe them,” said Manwere.

The magistrate further dismissed Ngozo’s claims that political enemies within the MDC-T, who included Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya and other councillors, were behind his arrest.

“It cannot be said his offence has anything to do with his political enemies because he admitted to receiving money from the complainants and refunding them.  He put himself into this mess and should take full responsibility for his actions.

“It is, therefore, incredibly dubious and false for him to blame his imaginary political enemies and if they did at any time play a part in this, it was only to expose high levels of corruption by the accused,” Manwere said.

The court reserved sentence after Ngozo’s new lawyer Gift Nyandoro said he needed time to prepare mitigation on behalf of the councillor.

Brain Mzemba appeared for the State.

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