A COMPANY clerk was yesterday sentenced to an effective seven years in prison for stealing over US$200 000 from his employer.

Tapiwa Israel Makwindi was convicted of defrauding Powerspeed Electrical after a full trial by regional magistrate Marewanazvo Gofa.

He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for the first count and two years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

Another year was suspended on condition that he pays back Powerspeed Electrical US$166 000 before April 30.

On the second count of theft, Makwindi was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment and two years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

Another year was suspended on condition he restitutes $16 million to the company.

The sentences will, however, run concurrently.

On the third count of money laundering, Makwindi got a wholly suspended five-year sentence.

Magistrate Gofa also ordered that the Fortuner Makwindi bought for his girlfriend, Honda Fit, he bought for his wife, a Mercedes Benz and a VW Golf GTI he bought for himself be forfeited to the State.

The court heard that Makwindi was employed by Powerspeed Electrical as a clerk, and his duties, included preparing payment requisitions, processing supplier

payments, generating payment batches in various internet bank accounts and carrying out bank reconciliations for the company.

In November 2021, Makwindi used his banking credentials to log into the company’s CABS Bank nostro account and transferred money to various bank accounts and then collected the cash from the receivers.

From November 2021 to July 5 last year, he transferred over US$200 000 from the company’s account and converted it to his own use.

The offence came to light on July 6 when the company’s group finance director checked the account and discovered that Makwindi had sent US$13 000 to one Kumbiraishe Ngundu.

He had sent another US$26 000 to Houghton Park Service Station nostro accounts leading to his arrest.

Magistrate Gofa said Makwindi breached the trust vested in him by his employer.

He also benefited from the offence as he bought cars and built a house in his rural home which cannot be forfeited.

Kennedy Madekutsikwa prosecuted.