A MAKONDE Zanu PF councillor and three party youths have been slapped with an 18-month jail term each for stealing drought relief maize meant to benefit underprivileged members of their community.
The four — Makonde-Obva ward 8 councillor Wilbert Kanyama (46), Zanu PF youths Gift Chikoreki (33), Tapiwa Handiseni (36) and Grahem Mareva (40) — were convicted and sentenced by Chinhoyi magistrate Brenda Dhliwayo last Friday.
The court, however, set aside six months of the sentence on condition of good behaviour and another 12 months on condition they performed 410 hours community service starting today.
It was the State’s case that in November last year, the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare embarked on a programme to distribute relief food in the form of maize grain to the underprivileged in Makonde.
On November 11, the quartet connived and diverted 26 bags of maize valued at $312 for personal use.
They hired a privately-owned haulage truck to ferry the loot from Grain Marketing Board depot in Lions’ Den.
The issue came to light after Kanyama failed to raise $120 demanded by people who loaded the stolen maize into the truck, prompting the truck driver to inform his boss about the heated disagreement and he in turn alerted the police.
All the stolen maize was recovered, and the quartet arrested.
Tinashe Serengwe prosecuted.