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Former Zimbabwe Minister Gets 16-Month Jail for Stealing 20 State Computers

Petronella Kagonye
Petronella Kagonye

Former Public Service Minister, Petronella Kagonye, has been jailed for 16 months for stealing 20 laptops that were donated to public schools in Goromonzi.

Harare magistrate, Vongai Guwuriro, who sentenced her to 36 months, suspended 12 months for five years on condition of good behavior. Guwuriro also suspended a further eight months on condition that she pays US$12,000 for the stolen laptops.

The computers were donated by the state-controlled Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Kakonye pleaded for leniency, saying she was a first offender but the prosecutor on Wednessay pressed for a custodial sentence, noting that it will stop government officials from pilfering state resources.

Public Prosecutor, Zivanai Macharaga, said Kagonye 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 recently charged with stealing fertilizer, maize seed and other items meant for rural farmers.