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Former Zimbabwe Minister Convicted of Stealing 20 Donated Computers


Petronella Kagonye

A former Cabinet Minister has been convicted of stealing donated school computers, a few days after another top government official was accused of allegedly converting to his use 700 tonnes of state fertilizer and maize seed destined for peasant farmers.

Harare magistrate, Vongai Muchuchuti, convicted former Public Service Minister, Petronella Kakonye, of stealing 20 computers which were donated by the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Kakonye, who will be sentenced tomorrow, was taken to Chikurubi Remand Prison. She pleaded for leniency saying she was a first offender but Muchuchuthi said there is need for a custodial sentence in order to deter top government officials from pilfering state resources.

Public Prosecutor, Zivanai Macharaga, concurred, saying Kakonye was supposed to protect state resources but betrayed her public trust by diverting the computers to her own use.

Meanwhile, Deputy Agriculture Minister Douglas Karoro was locked up and charged with stealing fertilizer, maize seed and other items meant for rural farmers.

Frank Chikowore contributed to this article

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