By Brenda Zinyuke
A man has been sentenced to three years in prison for violating a court order which prohibited him from using a family car which had been bought by his late brother.
Sylivan Nkhoma (38) of Pelandaba suburb in Bulawayo used a spare car key to steal the Toyota Ipsum which was in the custody of Mr Thembelani Sibanda (41) of Tshabalala suburb who had been hired as the driver.
The court heard that Nkhoma took the car when Mr Sibanda had left it parked along Lobengula Street between 11th and 12th Avenue.
Nkhoma pleaded not guilty to theft of a motor vehicle when he appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Mafios Moyo.
The magistrate convicted him of an alternative charge of contempt of court charge.
He sentenced him to three years in prison and one year was suspended for five years on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within that period.
The remaining two years were suspended on condition that Nkhoma performs 840 hours of community service at Western Commonage magistrate court.
The court heard that the car had been bought by the late Mr Abraham Nkhoma who registered the car in Nkhoma’s name as he was the last born out of a family of nine.
The car was meant to generate money for the survival of Nkhoma’s 81-year-old mother.
Prosecuting, Mr Simbarashe Manyiwa said on June 10 this year at around 7AM, Mr Sibanda parked the car and left for his personal business within town.
“Upon his return after an hour the complainant noticed that the motor vehicle had been stolen. He made some enquiries from Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) workers he had seen and they told him that a male adult had driven the car away,” said the prosecutor.
The matter was reported to the police and Nkhoma was identified as the only possible suspect by most of his family members.
This led to his arrest. The Chronicle