Mai TT freed by the High Court
Comedian Felistas Murata popularly known as Mai TT was acquitted by the High Court just a month before she completed her sentence.
Murata’s sentence and conviction was quashed by High Court judges led by Justice Happius Zhou who found that the lower court erred in convicting her.
Justice Zhou upheld her appeal after the state failed to file opposing affidavits while consenting that the lower court magistrate Munashe Chibanda erred in convicting her.
Murata was being accused of using a hired car as surety for a loan.
Magistrate Sibanda, in her ruling that sent Murata to prison said Murata was not a good candidate for community service hence the need for a custodial sentence.
For the theft of trust property charge, Murata was initially slapped with 12 months in jail, but six were suspended on the condition of good behaviour.
This was after the State confirmed from the community service department that indeed Murata was once convicted by a Mbare court for a domestic violence case involving her ex-husband Tawanda Mutikani in October 2015.
Then Murata was sentenced to three months in jail which were suspended on condition that she performed 105 hours of community service, but she defaulted to serve her sentence in Budiriro.
She was subsequently issued with a warrant of arrest on February 1, 2016.
The State had alleged that Murata hired a Mercedes Benz from Else Event Car Hire last year and handed the vehicle over as collateral for a US$10 000 loan from Rachel Mhuka.
lt was alleged that despite knowing that the hired vehicle was accumulating charges, she went to the United States without returning it to the owner.
She then came back to Zimbabwe after her visa was cancelled, claimed back the Mercedes Benz saying it did not belong to her and handed over another vehicle, an Audi Q5.
That vehicle was also hired. She again reclaimed this vehicle and replaced it with an invalid passport as surety.
When Mhuka realised that the passport was invalid, she confronted Murata who immediately sent back the second vehicle as security, the stolen Audi.
The Audi owner then reclaimed the vehicle from Mhuka.