Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau
FORMER zanu-pf Mashonaland Central provincial chairperson and key member of the infamous G40 cabal, Itai Dickson Mafios, was yesterday jailed for an effective one year and two months for inciting people in Bindura to join the recent violent protests.
In passing sentence, Bindura magistrate Mrs Moreblessing Makati said Mafios was a popular figure after being chairman of the ruling party in the province for a decade and his utterances had the potential of influencing unrest in the province.
She sentenced Mafios to two years in prison before suspending 10 months on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.
“The accused is not a first offender,” said Mrs Makati. “He failed to take heed of the suspended sentence when he was convicted on May 30 for skipping the border in contravention of the Immigration Act. He is a popular figure and the utterances could have influenced unrest.
“However, I have also considered that the utterances were not persistent and the crowd remained unresponsive.”
In mitigation, Mafios, who was represented by Mr Graciano Manyurureni, said he was a married man and a father of 11, nine of whom were still minors.
“He is a diabetic patient who needs constant medication,” said Mr Manyurureni.
“He is a farmer realising $15 000 per farming season and has 25 head of cattle. He committed the offence in the heat of the moment and had no time to reflect on the impact. To err is human, may the court be lenient in passing sentence.”