By Vasco Chaya
Television personality and Zimdancehall musician Oscar Pambuka has described his recent jail experience as an eye-opener.
Pambuka who was initially jailed for 30 months along with former Zanu PF Member of Parliament for Highfield, Psychology Maziwisa, for defrauding the Zimbabwe Power Company of $12 650 was released on bail after serving two weeks.
“I thank God for the release. The jail experience was both exciting and indeed an eye opener,” Pambuka told the Daily News on Sunday recently.
“That’s (jail) a rich ground full of lessons I tell you. That’s why most of the leaders pass through there. My future is certain.”
Pambuka said the jail experience boosted his faith.
“To be incarcerated does not mean that one is doomed in life. It is a correctional facility which does not select anyone. You also can be convicted. What is important especially to me was the fact that the experience renewed the inner man, brought me closer to the Creator, made me understand what happens at the various correctional services and above all created a stronger empathetic Pambuka.”
Pambuka, who is the managing director of Oscar Pambuka Productions, revealed that he missed his Zimdancehall network and family while in the penitentiary.
“Life in prison can be lonely as you will miss your loved ones. That’s why it’s important for friends and relatives to visit people incarcerated. It ignites the spirit and is also godly,” he said.
“I strongly urge everyone to stay away from crime and stay far from the prison gates. Once you are in prison, there is no television or radio and you cease to do what you want.”
Pambuka, who hails from Chipinge, described the general living conditions of inmates as good.
“The conditions of living are good though improvements can be made to include a number of recreational activities since it is a correctional facility. When some inmates saw me enter a lot of conclusions came into their minds,” he said.
“On a lighter note, my popularity assisted me to understand various issues affecting other inmates and it put to test my public relations skills which proved to be second to none.”
Inside the prison, Pambuka who has a passion for driving sports and big cars, learnt to stay away from crimes.
“The most important point is that it (prison) confirms that no one is above the law. Whether you are Oscar Pambuka or not when you wear the prison garb we become equal in the sense that you will all be prisoners,” he said.
“No matter that you are a teacher, accountant, politician, minister, prophet or elderly stay away from anything which brings you close to that place.”
Pambuka and Maziwisa were convicted early this month after going through a lengthy trail for allegedly swindling ZPC.
The duo owns a company called Fruitful Communications through which they allegedly claimed payments of up to $12 000 for public relations (PR) work.
Prosecutors successfully argued that no such activities were ever carried out by Maziwisa and Pambuka on behalf of ZPC although they got paid. Early this month, a Harare magistrate, Lazini Ncube, jailed Pambuka and Maziwisa for 30 months.
For the first count, Ncube caged Pambuka and Maziwisa to 54 months each.
On the second count, Ncube sentenced the duo to 24 months each.
Ncube suspended 12 months on the first count on condition that they restitute ZPC of $12 000 by January 2019.
A further 12 months were suspended for five years on condition that they do not commit a similar offence.
“On count two, the sentence will run concurrently with the first sentence,” Ncube said then. Daily News