High Court upholds couple’s conviction

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THE High Court has upheld the conviction and sentence of former Midlands State University (MSU) bursar Mamelo Moyo and her husband Melusi for swindling the institution of more than US$150 000 in underhand dealings.

Mamelo and Melusi, who is also the university’s former acting director of works, established a briefcase company supplying stationery and swindled MSU of US$154 393.05 through unprocedural dealings.

Gweru regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire convicted the couple of corruptly concealing an interest from a principal and sentenced them to five years each.

However, Nemadire suspended two years of the sentence on condition that they pay US$4 000 each.
Nemadire further suspended the remaining three years for five years on condition they do not within that period commit a similar offence.

Aggrieved by Nemadire’s decision, the couple approached the upper court seeking an overturn of both their conviction and sentence.

However, High Court judges Nokuthula Moyo and Maxwell Takuva upheld the couple’s conviction and sentence.
Takuva ruled that their grounds of appeal were irrelevant, immaterial and vague.

“The appeal is devoid of merit and we dismiss it in its entirety,” Takuva ruled.

The State proved that between September 11, 2014 and September 25, 2015, the couple made several supplies to MSU through Netabelt Investments without declaring their interests to the university in violation of the institution’s financial regulations.

Mamelo authorised 14 out of 19 transactions which were made to Netabelt Investments through bank transfers.
In October 2016, MSU got a tip off that the two had an undisclosed relationship with one of the university’s suppliers of stationery and computer accessories called Netabelt Investments.

MSU called Deloitte and Touché to investigate the relationship between the couple and the stationary firm.
On realising that the university’s procurement procedures were about to be audited, Mamelo completed declaration of conflicts form and declared that Melusi was her husband and director of Netabelt Investments Pvt Limited.

She also brought a declaration of conflicts form completed by her husband, declaring he was the director of the company.

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