Tendai Gukutikwa and Emma Chinyamutangira Post Correspondents
AN unscrupulous female fraudster who lured unsuspecting and desperate job seekers into believing that she could help them secure employment before defrauding them of their money has been jailed for 36 months.
Juliana Tinonesana (44) was convicted on two counts of fraud by Mutare provincial magistrate Mrs Sekai Chiwundura on Wednesday.
Mr Fletcher Karombe prosecuted.
Tinonesana will however serve an effective 24 months in prison after 12 months of the initial sentence were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
In passing the sentence Mrs Chiwundura said Tinonesana deserved a lengthy custodial sentence since she has not shown any remorse by committing similar offence with a very short space of time.
She said it was clear that Tinonesana was unrepentant of her crimes and that she needed more time to undergo rehabilitation at the hands of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services officers.
“On September 17, and at just outside the Government offices in Mutare, the first complainant, Marry Makunika, overheard the conversation between Tinonesana and her workmate that she was employed at the Zimbabwe Nurses Association and that she facilitated enrolment for nurses with the assistance of the Minister of State for Manicaland Province.
“Makunika showed some interest and approached Tinonesana since she wanted to help her brother enrol for a nursing trainee programme. Tinonesana then told her that she was capable of facilitating a nursing training place at Mutare Provincial Hospital and asked her to pay $336 which she said was going to cover uniform, aprons, modules and registration expenses. She also told Makunika that the money would also be used for the submission of his qualifications,” said Mr Karombe.
Makinika paid the full amount, but Tinonesana became evasive afterwards and nothing materialised from the deal.
Using the same modus operandi, Tinonesana also defrauded another desperate job seeker Takemore Matanha.
Tinonesana asked Matanha to pay $250 as a joining fee for her to submit his qualifications.
Matanha only paid $118 via his Ecocash account.
After being tipped off by other victims Matanha tried to make a follow up on Tinonesana on September 19 but could not locate her.
He reported the incident to police leading to Tinonesana’s arrest on September 25 by one Sergeant Mazhangara.
At the time of her arrest, Tinonesana was committing community service for previous fraud convictions in which she had swindled several women of money ranging from $50 to $200 to facilitate the disbursement financial assistance from Government for women to undertake income generating projects.