EMBATTLED comedienne, Felistas ‘Mai TT’ Murata, barely showed any emotion as she was sentenced to nine months in prison for defaulting on community service and theft of trust property.
The State had to research eight years of records at the National Archives to confirm that Mai TT had defaulted on community service.
She had denied ever being convicted for assault when questioned by a community service officer.
After it was confirmed, she was handed a three-month sentence.
Mai TT’s theft of trust property sentence attracted a 12-month prison sentence, of which six months were suspended.
She still has a pending fraud case and will return to court in August.
This was revealed by prosecutor, Monalisa Mangwendi, when she motivated the court to confirm the warrant of arrest issued against Mai TT in 2015.
“The State prays that the warrant of arrest be confirmed.
“She was sentenced in person and she was aware that she had to perform 105 hours of community service, but she only performed 19 hours and then stopped.
“She made no inquiries of the remaining hours for a continuous eight years and, in this court, she has avoided the question whether she did the community service or not.
“It was her duty to follow up and, in any case, she has shown that she’s dishonest and untrustworthy as she was insisting that she had never been convicted.
“She wasted the court’s time and we had to go through eight years of records to find the record.
“We submit that the default was wilful, she didn’t default today, she defaulted eight years ago and she can’t claim that she forgot that she had community service hours to perform.
“May the warrant be confirmed,” she said.
Mai TT’s lawyer, Admire Masango, pleaded with the court to cancel the warrant saying that she wasn’t aware of it.
Seeking clarity, magistrate Munashe Chibanda called Mai TT to the witness stand.
She then confirmed that she had a previous conviction that she had forgotten about.
“Now that they have brought it up, I remember that I was convicted on October 21, 2015, for domestic violence against my ex-husband.
“I made a complaint where I was performing community service and the police said they would get back to me and they never did.
“If, indeed, there was a warrant of arrest, they should have arrested me because I’m someone who is known, my address is known and everyone knows where to find me,” she said.
Magistrate Chibanda confirmed the warrant and ordered Mai TT to serve the alternative sentence of three months.
The magistrate also noted that Mai TT’s conduct was dishonest and showed lack of remorse, which warranted a custodial sentence.
She was also found guilty of perjury for giving false testimony during the trial.
The court went on to deal with her theft of trust property sentence.
“The court considered that the accused is a female offender who has two minor children.
“It’s a well settled position that sentencing should be rational and fair.
“The court takes cognisant that she didn’t benefit from the offence as the car was recovered.
“The court appreciates that the conviction already embarrasses her, but a fine would trivialise the offence.
“Community service would have been appropriate, but she has proven that she’s not eligible for community service.
“She is therefore sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, six months are suspended on condition that she doesn’t commit a similar offence in the next five years and six months are effective.”
Mai TT didn’t rise when everyone was asked to stand up as the magistrate was leaving.
Her case serves as a reminder of the consequences of dishonesty, fraud and perjury.
Her fans and supporters now have to grapple with the reality that the comedienne is no longer a free woman.