SELF-STYLED engineer and helicopter designer Daniel Chingoma and his wife Edina have been convicted and sentenced to 18 months in jail for fraud.
Report by Phillip Chidavaenzi
Chingoma, the director of a water harvesting engineering firm Taisek Engineering (Private Limited) was found guilty of fraud involving $2 300.
Harare magistrate Musaiona Shortgame, however, suspended eight months of the sentence for five years on condition the two were not convicted of a similar crime within that period and another 10 months on condition that they paid restitution to the complainant, Stella Marimbire.
Prosecutor Yvonne Gurira told the court that sometime in August 2009, Chingoma and his wife promised the complainant that they would drill a borehole at her house.
After receiving payment, they however failed to fulfill their part of the bargain and started giving excuses to the complainant. It was then that Marimbire decided to make a police report, leading to the arrest of the couple.
Chingoma is no stranger to controversy. A few years back, he designed a helicopter model which he hoped to fly one day. It was often paraded at the Harare Show Grounds where it was a crowd puller before he later moved it to an open space close to Snake Park.
In another surprise move in 2010, Chingoma formed a political party called the Zimbabwe Integrated Revolutionary Party (ZIRP), which he claimed would appeal to intellectuals.
He deliberately targeted public toilets throughout the country where he put up his posters and campaign messages. His belief, he said, was that everyone used the toilet and so they presented a good advertising opportunity since he said never got an opportunity to advertise on television and radio.