Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent
MDC-T Member of Parliament for Mabvuku-Tafara constituency James Maridadi was yesterday convicted and sentenced to pay $50 fine or spend 20 days in jail for allegedly grabbing a parking ticket book worth $2,50 from a National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) salesman.
In passing sentence, Chitungwiza magistrate Mr Takunda Mtetwa wholly suspended 30 days for five years on condition the legislator does not commit any offence involving dishonesty.
Maridadi, it was proved, refused to pay $1 in parking fees at the Harare Station parcels office on October 9 last year, after which he grabbed the ticket book from the salesman and drove off in his red Ford Ranger truck.
Maridadi (48) was charged with unauthorised borrowing or use of property when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Takunda Mtetwa.
Prosecuting, Mrs Stylon Marufu proved that on October 9, Mr Zivanai Muzokomba (38), who is employed by (NRZ) as a ticket salesman, was manning the NRZ parcels parking zone and was receipting parking fees.
The court heard that Maridadi parked his vehicle at the NRZ-controlled car park and Mr Muzokomba waited for Maridadi’s return when he asked the legislator to pay the parking fees, but Maridadi became furious and demanded to see the ticket book which the saleman was using.
Mr Muzokomba, the court heard, showed Maridadi the ticket book, but the legislator grabbed the book and drove away along Kenneth Kaunda Avenue.
Mrs Marufu proved that Muzokomba managed to note down Maridadi’s vehicle registration number and reported the case at Harare Central Police Station.
A Central Vehicle Registry check revealed that the legislator owned the vehicle.
This led to Maridadi’s arrest, leading to the recovery of the ticket book.