Perrance Shiri ‘swindler’ freed

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Jailed Hemmingworth Cartwright (Private) Limited director Brian Kambasha, who was slapped with a five-year jail term for swindling Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, was yesterday released on $1 000 bail by High Court judge Justice Joseph Musakwa.

BY CHARLES LAITON

As part of his bail conditions, Kambasha was also ordered to surrender his property’s title deeds.

Justice Musakwa said Kambasha had been wrongly convicted of theft of trust property and as such, there were high prospects of success on his appeal.

The judge also said there was no proof of essential elements of the offence contained in the record of proceedings.

“State would have done better if it had preferred fraud charges against the accused because it sought to juxtapose the circumstances of this case with that of Rotina Mavhunga which was a fraud case,” Justice Musakwa said.

Kambasha and his company were convicted in March this year after a fully contested trial.

In his judgment, provincial magistrate Milton Serima described Kambasha as “a treacherous malcontent” who had the tenacity to approach President Robert Mugabe and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya purportedly to seek a loan to complete the solar energy system installation at Shiri’s farm.

“The level of your cunning behaviour shows you are a malcontent trickster out to dupe people of their money,” Serima had said.

Kambasha approached Shiri sometime in April 2013 and proposed to install a solar power pilot project at Shiri’s Bindura farm.

He told Shiri the project would be rolled out in three phases and Shiri agreed to have the first stage of the project installed at his farm at a cost of $50 125.

On June 7, 2013, Shiri is said to have entered into an agreement and paid the money in instalments, but Kambasha mounted metal stands for the plant and converted the money to his own use.

After two weeks, Shiri is said to have approached Kambasha who failed to explain why the project had stalled.

The court heard Kambasha failed to install the plant or reimburse the money, leading to his arrest on December 12 last year.