NOTORIOUS Zanu PF activist, Fidelis Fengu, has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for pretending to be an immigration director and forging a letter for a Chinese man who wanted a residence permit.
He will however, likely spend an effective four months behind bars after the rest of the sentence was suspended for five years on conditions.
Magistrate Tendai Mahwe also suspended another four months on condition that Fengu restitutes the complainant by the end of this month.
Fengu has been linked to a number of alleged Zanu PF assassinations, including the still unexplained death in a farmhouse blaze of independence war hero and army head General Solomon Mujuru.
The activist was also cited in the road accident death of Zanu PF legislator and former mines minister Edward Chindori-Chininga.
Delivering his ruling Monday, magistrate Mahwe considered the fact that Fengu was family man with four minor children and a first offender.
The state led by prosecutor, Francesca Mukumbiri, said cases of people masquerading as immigration officers to dupe desperate residence permit seekers were on the rise and there was need to protect the community.
She said a tough sentence could help deter potential offenders.
The state proved that between 16 and 23 July this year, Fengu received US$2,000 from Guo Nyongwei to facilitate the processing of residence permit on behalf of Shu Xiaofeng.
This was after Shu’s first application to the immigration office was turned down.
Fengu and his accomplice, Francis Hungwe who appeared in court in August, then produced a fake document which they photocopied and gave to Shu.
They lied that the document was issued by the immigration department.
Shu then presented the document to immigration department in July not knowing it was fake. The matter came to light when verification was done.
Investigations revealed that Shu had been denied a permit and had a pending appeal.
Shu then narrated what had happened, leading to the arrest of Hungwe who implicated Fengu.