A MARKETING agent with one of the country’s leading insurance company was yesterday jailed 18 months for stealing trust funds three months ago which he later used to buy worthless Zimbabwean dollars after being misled into believing that they were now in demand.
Shingirai Tandire (25), who was employed as marketing agent for Regal Insurance firm in Mutare, was sentenced for theft of $11 798 from the company’s trust fund cash vaults.
Tandire was convicted on his own plea of guilty to the theft charge when he appeared before Mutare magistrate Sekai Chiundura.
The court heard that on June 9 this year, Tandire was tasked to collect money from the company’s branches in Mutare, Chipinge and Rusape by his superior who was out of the country.
Instead of depositing the money into the firm’s bank accounts, Tandire pocketed the cash.
He later got wind that a certain Ghanaian dealer was in Harare where he was buying Zimbabwean dollar notes and coins at a premium price.
The court heard that Tandire fell for the trap and bought unspecified amounts of Zimdollars which he later took to Harare to try his luck. However, he failed to locate the Ghanaian buyer and ended up stuck with the worthless local currency.
The theft was only discovered following an audit of the company’s accounts on September 9, leading to Tandire’s arrest.
In passing sentence, Chiundura said such cases were on the rise and the accused had no reason to gamble with company funds and as such a deterrence sentence would be proper.
Tandire will, however, serve an effective six months after six months were suspended on condition that he restitutes the complainant $11 798 by November 30 while the other six months were suspended on condition that he will not be convicted of a similar offence in the next five years.
Brain Goto prosecuted.