Filabusi magistrate steals bail money


© FILABUSI resident magistrate Mzingaye Ephraim Moyo has been arraigned for replacing court fees and bail money that was paid in cash with electronic money.
Moyo received $962 in judicial fines, court fees, bail re-imbursements which he was supposed to deposit into the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) bank accounts.
He only deposited $531 into the bank accounts and converted the balance to own use before replacing it with electronic money.
Moyo had pleaded not guilty to theft of trust property but Bulawayo magistrate Lizwe Jamul convicted him after a full trial.
Jamela sentenced Moyo to 20 days behind bars with the option of paying $500 fine before January 15.
In passing judgment, Jamela said Moyo’s actions amount to theft of the cash he had been given as trust property with instructions to deliver it to the JSC by way of depositing the actual cash received into the JSC account.
“The accused’s defence is merely an attempt to justify his actions by explaining the motive behind his actions … The evidence establishes that the terms under which he held the funds did not authorise him to handle the electronic money as he did,” Jamela said.
In his defence, Moyo had submitted that he did not intend to deprive the JSC but was being innovative to mitigate the risk of losing the money after failing to deposit the money.
Prosecutor Denmark Chihombe proved that on August 24 last year, Moyo received $962 being judicial fines, court fees and bail re-imbursements funds which he was supposed to deposit into the JSC’s bank accounts.
Chihombe said Moyo went on to deposit $100 into a ZB Bank account number 4372570264200 and $431 into another ZB Bank account number 4372570264080.
“Moyo converted the remaining $431, to his own use. On August 26, Moyo effected an electronic transfer of $431 from his personal CBZ account into the courts and administration fund as replacement of the money which he had already converted to his own use. Ncube had no legal right to convert trust property in the manner in which he did,” Chihombe said.

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