via Ailing former mayor spared jail sentence – Nehanda Radio 3 October 2014 by Tendai Rupapa
Former Chitungwiza mayor Phillimon Chipiyo and his accomplice, Vincent Tom Baris, who were convicted of swindling a home seeker of more than US$7 000 in a botched stand deal, last week escaped jail by a whisker after they were ordered to pay US$100 fine each coupled with restitution.
Former Chitungwiza mayor Phillimon Chipiyo
Chipiyo (76), who has a previous conviction, and Baris (53), pleaded guilty to the charge when they appeared before magistrate Ms Vongai Muchuchuti.
In passing the sentence, Ms Muchuchuti said that the pair’s moral blameworthiness – especially that of Chipiyo, who abused his post as a mayor – was high.
She added that because of their ages and Chipiyo’s medical condition, she could not send them to prison.
She also highlighted that although Chipiyo has a previous conviction of a similar offence, there was no suspended term.
Ms Muchuchuti ordered the pair to pay US$100 each or risk going to prison for three months.
In addition, she slapped them with a wholly suspended six months jail term on condition they restitute the complainant on or before October 31.
Prosecutor Mr Desire Chidanire told the court that on June 24 last year Chipiyo sold Real Rachel Mhike’s stand number 20438, located in Unit G Extension in Chitungwiza, to Jeremiah Chiraya for US$7 300.
The duo misrepresented to Chiraya that the stand belonged to the former city father.
The stand, however, belonged to Mhike, who died on September 26 2001.
Baris approached Chiraya who wanted to buy the stand and misrepresented to him that it belonged to his colleague, Chipiyo.
Thereafter, Baris accompanied Chiraya to view the stand and the latter was satisfied and got interested in buying it.
Chiraya was then ordered to pay US$7 300 for the stand, which money he paid to Baris at Chitungwiza Town Centre on the same day.
Pursuant to their plans, on July 25, Baris accompanied Chiraya to Chipiyo’s house where Chipiyo confirmed to have received the money for the stand.
Chiraya later approached Chipiyo and sought permission to develop the stand before change of ownership and the same was granted. Chiraya then constructed his house and started living on the stand.
The fraudulent deal was exposed sometime in January this year when Chiraya was approached by Mhike’s executor, Trevor Godzongere, who informed him that the stand was, in fact, estate property.
The matter was then reported to police leading to the two men’s arrest. The Herald