FORMER Chitungwiza mayor Philimon Chipiyo, who last week pleaded guilty to swindling a home seeker of $7 300, was yesterday ordered to pay a $100 fine and restitute the complainant by September 30, failure of which he will be jailed for three months.
Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe also ordered Chipiyo’s co–accused Vincent Didymus Tom Baris (53) to pay $100. The court further ruled that both accused persons should pay back $1 500 apiece to the complainant Jeremiah Chiraya by October 30. Should they fail to do so, they would each be imprisoned for six months.
Chipiyo served as Chitungwiza mayor between 2010 and 2012.
In passing sentence, Mahwe said he considered Chipiyo’s ill–health, which was likely to be affected by a custodial sentence.
The court heard during trial that Chipiyo (76) connived with Baris on June 24 last year and sold the late Rachel Mhike’s stand number 20438 in Unit G Extension in Chitungwiza, to Chiraya for $7 300.
The pair misrepresented to Chiraya that the undeveloped stand belonged Chipiyo when it was registered in Mhike’s name. According to court papers, Mhike passed away on September 26 2001.
The court heard that Baris then accompanied Chiraya to view the stand. After the buyer was satisfied, he registered his interest in buying it.
Chiraya was subsequently ordered to pay $7 300 and he did so on the same day at Chitungwiza Town Centre.
Only July 25, Baris accompanied Chiraya to Chipiyo’s house where the latter confirmed that he had received the payment.
Chiraya later approached Chipiyo and sought permission to develop the stand before change of ownership and he was given the green light.
Chiraya subsequently constructed his house only to be approached by the executor of Mhike’s estate, Trevor Godzongere, who informed him that the stand was an estate property.
The matter was then reported to police, leading to the duo’s arrest.