By Tafadzwa Gumunyu
Felistas Murata, better known as Mai TT, a popular socialite, has been convicted of theft of trust property by Harare Magistrate this Tuesday.
The judgment was described by the magistrate as a “classic case of theft of trust property” Mai TT has been remanded in custody until Wednesday, awaiting a sentence to be decided by the State Prosecution.
The case against Mai TT involved her alleged involvement in the theft of an Audi Q5, which she had rented from Liberty Kudakwashe Vazhura at Else Car Rental.
It is reported that Mai TT and Vazhura signed a lease agreement, stipulating that she was to pay US$770 per week for the vehicle.
However, Mai TT failed to fulfill her weekly payments and became evasive.
Without informing Vazhura, she transferred the car to Rachel Mhuka, who had lent her US$10,000 for a business venture.
The car was used as security for the loan. When Mhuka discovered that the car had been transferred without Vazhura’s knowledge, she confronted Mai TT, who eventually returned the vehicle.
In January 2021, Vazhura reported Mai TT to the Rhodesville police station, accusing her of theft of trust property after he was unable to locate the car.
The police subsequently recovered the Audi Q5 from Mhuka, stating that it had been stolen from Else Car Rental. The car, valued at US$18,000, was fully recovered.
During the trial, Mai TT claimed that she had paid US$3,000 to Vazhura for the car, alleging that he had agreed to sell it to her.
She also stated that she possessed receipts as evidence of the payments made. However, these arguments did not sway the court, leading to her conviction.
Mai TT now faces the possibility of a jail term or a fine for the offense of theft of trust property, as defined under Section 113 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
This offense involves the dishonest appropriation of property entrusted to one by another.
Mai TT’s sentence will be decided on Wednesday.