Buying stolen property backfires

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A MUTASA school teacher and entrepreneur who knowingly bought stolen electrical gadgets worth US$5 800 has landed himself in hot soup after he was arrested and convicted of the offence this week.

Onias Mushamainza (37) was last week on Wednesday convicted by Nyanga magistrate, Ms Notebulgar Muchineripi for violating Section 124 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9.23 which makes it criminal to receive or buy stolen goods.

Mushamainza, who was not represented, pleaded not guilty, telling the court that he was not aware that the inverter, charger controller and a battery he had bought were stolen from GTel by Tinotenda Issa, an electrician with the company.

However, it was proved in court that he knew that the property was stolen.

Issa also told the court that the teacher knew that it was a ‘deal’ and GTel does not sell the items in question.

He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment.

Six months were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.

He will serve an effective 12 months.

Prosecutor, Mr Tawanda Mashanda, said Mushamainza, who also operates a private school and bottle store in Nyanga, paid Issa US$1 000 for the property at a secluded place at night.

“On a date unknown, but during the period extending from May 2022 and August 20, 2022, Mushamainza received an inverter, on charger controller and a battery from Tinotenda Issa who had stolen the property from GTel at Airdale Plot in Nyanga.

“Mushamainza received the property knowing well that it was stolen property. On August 20, detectives from Nyanga Criminal Investigations Department received an anonymous tip-off that Mushamainza had received the stolen property,” said Mr Mashanda.

Detectives proceeded to Bridging the Gap Academy School and searched the premises.

They recovered the stolen property from a room used as the school office. Mushumainza was interviewed and said he had bought the property from Issa for US$1 000.

“Issa was arrested on theft charges and told the detectives that he had sold the property to Mushumainza. The value of the stolen property is US$5 800 and everything was recovered,” said Mr Mashanda. – Manica Post