SUSPENDED Karoi magistrate Amanda Muridzo has been sentenced to an effective year in prison for accepting a US$20 bribe.
Muridzo was convicted after a full trial by magistrate Bianca Makwande.
Muridzo was being charged, together with clerk of court Shelter Kachirika, and David Mazowi, who paid the bribe,
Mazowi was sentenced to 12 months in prison and six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour
Kachirika and Muridzo were each sentenced to 18 months in prison, and six months were suspended on condition that they don’t commit a similar offence, in the next five years.
Twelve months shall be effective.
The court heard that on August 27, 2018, Mazowi’s former wife Sinafi Chidoko filed maintenance papers at Karoi Magistrates Court claiming $250 for her two minor children, after she had separated with their father Mazowi.
A trial date was set for September 11 and, during that month, Kachirika and Mazowi connived to approach Muridzo, who was the presiding officer, to influence the court’s findings.
Chidoko and Mazowi appeared in court and $50 maintenance was granted.
Further, the court heard that Chidoko later applied for an upward variation to $100.
It was this application that was then compromised due to the bribe.
Muridzo and Kachirika, in connivance with Mazowi, hatched a plan to influence the outcome of the variation.
Mazowi transferred $20 from his Ecocash account into Kachirika’s Ecocash account and Muridzo presided over the maintenance hearing and granted an upward variation.
The matter came to light when Chidoko received a tip-off from an anonymous caller who told her how the maintenance case had been handled.