Two Zimbabwean men, who were alleged to have masqueraded as traditional healers, on Thursday escaped a three-year jail term after they were given suspended sentences.
When sentencing the accused person, Gift Chihwayi (27) and Phillip Rusari (39) Broadhurst Magistrate, Gaseitsewe Tonoki said on the first count, the two accused persons together with the other accused person, Tafala Chihwayi (42) have been charged with an offence of entering Botswana through an ungazetted point of entry - jumping the fence, which forms the boundary between Botswana and Zimbabwe on the exact date not known to the prosecution.
“Illegally, entering the country is total disrespect to that State’s immigration laws. This court cannot condone this because it can cause political and economic instability. After considering your mitigation, you are all sentenced to pay P5,000 each, failing which you will be faced with an imprisonment of five years,” Tonoki said.
Magistrate Tonoki went on to say on another count in which they are charged with an offence of obtaining by false pretences after acting together with the third accused person, who pleaded not guilty to the offence, it is alleged that acting in consent at Phiring location in Gaborone, they tried to obtain the sum of P1,000 from Linet Mmali David by falsely pretending that they were traditional doctors.
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“This court has taken into consideration the fact that despite that the victim was left traumatised and will never trust traditional doctors even genuine ones. You should note that it is also inhuman to rob people their hard-earned money therefore I sentence you to three years imprisonment to be suspended on condition that you should not commit any offence in two years. I advise you to appeal the sentence in 21 days from today at High Court if you are not satisfied with my sentence,” Tonoki said.
Representing State prosecution, detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo pleaded with the court to set a trial date for Tafala who had earlier pleaded not guilty to the second count of obtaining by false pretences.
“I am pleading with court to set trial dates for Tafala in which on that date we are intending to bring three witnesses,” Marapo said. Tonoki set December 7 as the trial date and ordered that Tafala be further remanded in custody.