Former ZBC presenter Oscar Pambuka’s partner in crime, Psychology Maziwisa was finally arrested on Friday. The former legislator, believed to have been on the run, was remanded in custody as he is expected to start serving his 30-month (two-and-a-half-year) sentence for fraud.
Maziwisa’s partner in crime, Oscar Pambuka, is already serving a two-and-a-half-year jail term for defrauding power utility ZESA of more than US$12 000.
Former Highfield MP Psychology Maziwisa and Pambuka were found guilty of defrauding ZESA in 2018.
However, When the two appealed their judgment and sentence at the High Court, they were released after they were granted bail pending appeal.
The pair’s luck ran out last September when the High Court threw out their appeal against conviction and sentence.
Pambuka and Maziwisa were supposed to begin serving 30 months in prison, each immediately after the High Court rejected their appeal.
But, the two avoided turning themselves in to the police by taking advantage of loopholes in the legal system.
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When Oscar Pambuka was found guilty of another fraud case last week, the authorities realised that he and Maziwisa were supposed to be behind bars.
Following his second fraud conviction, Pambuka was brought before High Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda who imprisoned him for his previous conviction in 2018.
A warrant of arrest was then issued for Maziwisa, who was believed to be on the run.
Why Were Oscar Pambuka and Psychology Maziwisa Convicted?
The two were convicted of defrauding ZESA subsidiary Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) of over $12 000 in a Public Relations deal. Maziwisa and Pambuka were fraudulently awarded a tender to do public relations work for ZPC by former Energy minister Samuel Undenge.
At the time, the power utility had its own functional public relations department. Pambuka and Maziwisa, through their company Fruitful Communications, billed ZPC for $12,000 for work they never performed.
Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube sentenced the pair to six years and five months in jail. However, Oscar Pambuka and Psychology Maziwisa were supposed to serve two years and six months each after the magistrate conditionally suspended the rest of the term.
What Happened To The Former Minister?
Former Energy Minister Samuel Undenge, who advised ZPC to engage Fruitful Communications without going to tender, was found guilty of criminal abuse of office and given a four-year prison sentence. The sentence was reduced to 36 months in prison after the magistrate conditionally suspended the rest of the sentence.
Before going to prison, Undenge unsuccessfully attempted to have the conviction and sentence overturned.
However, the former minister was later released in 2021 following Presidential Amnesty. He was among 3 000 prisoners who benefitted from the Presidential clemency order.