A Gokwe District Agricultural extension officer Israel Philime (51) who sent threatening messages by his cellphone to a man who challenged a decision to transfer his wife to another station was last Friday fined $180 and given a suspended three months’ jail term.
Philime of Green Valley in Gokwe pleaded not guilty to using offensive, indecent or threatening language over a telephone under section 88 of the Post and Telecommunications Act when he appeared before resident magistrate Shepard Mjanja.
But the magistrate convicted and fined him $180 or alternatively four months in jail.
In addition, he gave him a three-month jail term which was wholly suspended for three years on condition of good behaviour.
The court heard that Philime threatened Andrew Andria Makado of Mafungautsi Stands in Gokwe who is also a lecturer at the Rio Tinto Agricultural College through a text message using his cellphone.
Philime is a workmate of Makado’s wife Anniah Karimupfumbi.
It is the State case that sometime in October, Philime tried to transfer Karimupfumbi from Gokwe Centre to Gomoguru Station.
When Makado heard of the issue he approached Philime who directed him to speak to his wife over the issue.
On October 31, Philime, through his mobile number 0777 301 651 sent a message to Makado’s mobile number 07755 593 329.
The message reads, “Do not trouble trouble until trouble troubles you. I think you have gone too far.You need some checks and balances. Be warned, you are diving in waters infested with sharks and crocodiles.”
“If you are seeking direct confrontation you have plunged into, so let it be.”
In denying the charge, Philime said the message was just an advice to Makado to stop interfering with his authority as he was head of the department in Gokwe.
He also said he was responding to messages which were sent by Makado to him. Philime said Makado had reported the case in order to fix him.
In sentencing him the magistrate said there was overwhelming evidence that Philime’s messages were threats, which warranted a serious sentence.