A HARARE man, Webster Gobvu, yesterday escaped an effective jail term, but got 210 hours of community service, after magistrate Tendai Mahwe convicted him of fraudulently selling a residential stand.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
Gobvu was initially sentenced to 24 months in prison, but got away with community service to be performed at Zengeza 8 Primary School in Chitungwiza after the court took into consideration that he was a first offender.
The court heard Gobvu sold a residential stand that he had initially sought to purchase without the consent of the owner, thereby prejudicing Bangani Kusakara of $16 000.
In passing the sentence, Mahwe noted that cases of selling non-existent properties were on the rise and said deterrent sentences were, therefore, called for.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Tawanda Takaendisa said Gobvu had acted in that manner as he had a genuine belief that he was the bona-fide owner of the property.
Takaendisa also said Gobvu had since engaged the lawyers of the complainant as a sign of contrition and already paid $3 000 towards the refund.
Gobvu had 18 months of the sentence suspended on condition that he restitutes Kusakara before November 30.