By Staff Reporter
Wanted former Zinara acting chief executive officer Moses Julius Juma, who was on the run after his appeal against conviction and sentence for abuse of office was struck off by the High Court, has now been committed to prison.
Juma resurfaced last Friday when High Court judge Justice Pisirayi Kwenda sitting with Justice Benjamin Chikowero, refused to hear the appeal in his absence.
The judge ordered his lawyer to have Juma brought to court and explain why he stayed out of custody when his appeal was dismissed.
When he finally came, Juma failed to justify his action and was committed to prison.
Justice Kwenda also found that Juma had successfully applied for condonation and leave to appeal out of time from the comfort of his home.
“He was granted the leave and filed a new appeal this year,” said Justice Kwenda. “He was lucky that his application was heard while he was at home yet his bail had lapsed.”
Juma was first arrested in 2016 for abuse of office but was released after former Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko stormed Avondale Police Station and demanded his immediate release.
He was rearrested in 2018 and sentenced to 30 months in prison and was supposed to serve two years in jail after six months were suspended from his sentence.
Juma was convicted for handpicking a tax consultancy company on a contract worth US$500 000 without going to tender as required.
Following his conviction, Juma approached the High Court appealing against his conviction and was granted $5 000 bail.
His appeal came before Justice Kwenda and Justice Felistus Chatukuta, now a Supreme Court judge, and the matter was struck off because his grounds of appeal were invalid.
As soon as his appeal was struck off, he was supposed to hand himself in and start serving because his bail had terminated.
Instead he stayed at home while the ZACC launched a manhunt for him.