A 49-YEAR-OLD man employed as a credit controller at the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) Gweru offices was on Friday sentenced to 90 months in jail for defrauding several schools after masquerading as a water bill debt collector.
Garikayi Onesmo Muzanago of Ridgemont unlawfully took a date stamp and receipt book belonging to Zinwa which he used for his fraudulent activities.
Gweru magistrate Phathekile Msipa found Muzanago guilty on one count of theft and six counts of fraud.
Msipa jailed Muzanago to 90 months, but suspended 24 months on condition that he pays restitution of $3 465 to the complainants before December 30 and a further 12 months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
Prosecutor Bornwell Balamanja told the court that on an unspecified date in September 2009, Muzanago unlawfully took a Zinwa date stamp and receipt book from the Gweru offices.
On September 3, the accused went to Regina Mundi High school where he misrepresented to Consillia Jangara that he was on duty collecting money for water bills.
He collected $500 from the school.
The accused returned to the same school September 11 2009 and collected $1 000 before collecting $1 465 on October 1.
He then went to Chaplin High School on September 10, October 13 and 27 where he made misrepresentations before collecting $100 and $200 respectively.
However, the fraud came to light when the schools were reconciling their books and the matter was reported to the police, leading to the arrest of Muzanago.