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Former Minister Petronella Kagonye convicted of stealing 20 laptops

Harare magistrate Vongai Guworiro Muchuchuti convicted former Labour and Social Welfare Minister Petronella Kagonye of stealing 20 computers donated by the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) to her constituency.

She has been sent to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison while awaiting sentencing which will be delivered today at 2.15pm.

Magistrate Guwuriro said Kagonye failed to account for the laptops during the course of the trial and her explanation as to what happened to the laptops was not reasonable.

Kagonye was at the end of March, acquitted on two counts of fraud after the state failed to provide sufficient evidence against her.

Magistrate Guwuriro ruled that the investigating officer and the State indicated that there was not sufficient evidence to build a case against Kagonye.

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She was accused of defrauding Shingiriro Housing Cooperative of US$18 000 after she allegedly received money promising them residential stands.

She won the case after the bookkeeper, who was supposed to testify during the trial, was said to be outside the country and Guwuriro stated that the evidence of Joyce Chiroodza, the complainant, was not enough to sustain the allegations.

The magistrate further stated that the documents of the cooperative were also not enough.