Three women jailed over house theft

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THREE Bulawayo women were each handed  30-month suspended sentences after being convicted of stealing a Tshabalala house belonging to a Harare woman for $10 000.

STAFF REPORTER

Maina Sibanda (52) of Nkulumane, Vaina Moyo (53) of Queens Park and Brilliant Nyathi (30) of Tshabalala had denied the theft charge when they appeared before Bulawayo regional magistrate Mark Dzira on Tuesday.

However, Dzira convicted and sentenced them to 30 months in jail each, but suspended 12 months for five years on condition of good behaviour.

Sibanda and Nyathi had 18 months suspended on condition they perform 525 hours of community service, while Moyo had 18 months suspended on condition she performs 530 hours of community service.

Sibanda was also ordered to pay the complainant Sophie Mpofu $2 000.

Dzira said what aggravated their offence was that they denied the charge yet they had sold Mpofu’s house without consulting her.

“It is then better that the house owner managed to get back her house, but still there is money which needs to be paid to her. You did not benefit from the theft as the house has been returned to the owner,” Dzira said.

He said this type of crime was prevalent among men and asked how they gathered the courage to venture in such a crime.

“I am not sure if by so doing it was a sign that you are now equal to men. As women who have families, you are supposed to behave like family people,” he said.

Prosecutor Tinashe Dzipe said on October 1 2012, the three together with one Moses Masona  — who is still at large — hatched a plan to deprive Mpofu of her house and went to the Tshabalala housing offices.  The house was under the administration of Boniface Kaseke of Sunningdale, Harare, who holds special powers of attorney on behalf of Mpofu.

They advertised the house for sale and a buyer Reginah Chingombe responded.

Chingombe paid $10 000 for the house and change of ownership was effected and it was transferred into her name.

Mpofu discovered the theft and sale of her house and made a report to the police, leading to the arrest of the three.

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