Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Prosecutor-General Mr Johannes Tomana is not done with former Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission chief executive Ngonidzashe Gumbo, who was jailed for two years last year for defrauding the commission of $435 000.
Mr Tomana decided to appeal against the prison term, arguing the sentence was too lenient.
Mr Tomana successfully filed an application for leave to lodge the appeal against the jail term out of time limit at the High Court. Justice Hlekani Mwayera granted the condonation application in her chambers recently. The order reads: “Whereupon after reading documents filed by the application for leave to appeal filed by the applicant under case number HC4937/ 15 be and is hereby condoned.
“There is no order as to costs,” ruled Justice Mwayera.
Gumbo, a former Senior Assistant Commissioner with the Zimbabwe Republic Police, was initially sentenced to 10 years in prison before five years were suspended on condition that he is not convicted of any case involving dishonesty in a period of five years from the date of sentencing.
Further three years were set aside on condition that House Number 20, Northend Road, Highlands that he bought using the tainted money was forfeited to the State. Gumbo was then left to serve two years in prison. However, he is now on bail pending appeal. Retired magistrate Mr Rodgers Kachambwa found that Gumbo benefited from the offence and that the amount involved was substantial.
It was the court’s finding that Gumbo’s moral blameworthiness was high considering that he is a former senior police officer and that he held a position of authority.
Gumbo bought offices to be used by the commission in Mt Pleasant, Harare, using Government funds, but registered the property in the name of a company he jointly owned with four of his subordinates. The State proved that in 2010, ZACC approached the Home Affairs Ministry seeking alternative accommodation when their landlords were about to evict them.
The ministry instructed Gumbo to look for alternative property and he identified 872 Betterment Close in Mt Pleasant that belonged to Diane Spalletah.
Gumbo went back to the ministry where he requested for $1 680 000 to buy the property and Government deposited $1,7 million into a ZACC account.
He instructed his subordinates Sukai Tongogara, Edwin Mubataripi, Christopher Chisango and Gibson Mangwiro to form a shelf company called Property Mortgage where they became directors with equal shares. A ZACC administration and human resources manager deposited the $1 680 000 into a CBZ account for Perpetual Properties trust account.
It is believed that Gumbo’s daughter was an administrator for Perpetual Properties and she was the one who did the transactions. The property was bought for $1,2 million, which was fully paid to the owner Spalletah by Perpetual Properties.
Perpetual Properties deducted their commission amounting to $44 500, leaving a balance of $435 500.
The court heard that $160 000 was used to purchase a property owned by Poptechnologies where Gumbo and Popatlal Samir are directors.
A person called Da Silva was given $100 000, while Samir received $95 000.
Gumbo is said to have allocated $80 000 for “renovations.”