Mai TT conviction quashed. . . magistrate erred in her findings

Mathew Masinge

Mai TT will be home for Christmas.

The comedienne is now a free woman after spending 63 days locked up at Chikurubu Female Prison for theft of trust property.

Through her lawyers, Mai TT managed to prove her innocence in a High Court appeal.

The State in its submissions consented to Mai TT’s appeal before confirming that the magistrate, Munashe Sibanda, who convicted her had erred in her findings.

Confirming their decision, judges Happious Zhou and Benjamin Chikowero upheld the appeal and quashed Mai TT’s conviction.

“The appeal has been upheld, conviction and sentence have been set aside.

“Mai TT has been found not guilty and acquitted,” ruled Justice Zhou in court.

The comedienne was jailed nine months in June for using a hired car as collateral to cover up a US$10 000 loan advanced to her by her friend Rachel Mhuka.

Her custodial sentence was lengthened by another three months after she was jailed six months for Theft of Trust Property.

The additional three months accrued after the State discovered that she had defaulted her community service on a previous conviction, serving just 19 of the required 105 hours.

She was automatically disqualified as a good candidate for community service hence she could not appeal against sentence.

In her appeal against conviction, Mai TT argued that she had no intention to deprive Rachel Mhuka of her US$10 000 or Else Event Car Hire of its vehicle.

She convinced the judges on appeal that she never used the vehicle as collateral claiming that Mhuka had every reason to lie to the court after realising that the car left in her company was repossessed.

It’s also Mai TT’s argument that she had no binding trust agreement with Mhuka and it wasn’t her intention to permanently deprive the car dealership.

The now overturned conviction had suggested that sometime in September last year, at the corner of Sam Nujoma Street and Speke Avenue in Harare, Mai TT unlawfully and intentionally misrepresented to Mhuka that she needed US$10 000 for her business venture.

She gave Mhuka a Mercedes Benz as surety for the loan which she undertook to pay back by November 30 last year.

Mai TT allegedly did this knowing that the vehicle did not belong to her.

However, Mai TT later claimed back the Mercedes Benz saying it did not belong to her and gave her an Audi Q5.

She again withdrew it and replaced the vehicle with an invalid passport as surety.

When Mhuka realised that the passport was invalid, she confronted Mai TT who immediately returned the second vehicle.

The State alleged that sometime in January this year, police from Rhodesville seized the car from Mhuka, indicating that it had been stolen from Else Event Car Hire.

However, leading to her being freed by the High Court, Mai TT had reportedly paid back the US$10 000 in full.

The State in turn withdrew fraud charges against her.

 

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