Midlands Bureau Chief
A 40-YEAR-OLD bar lady from Mvuma has been fined $200 000 or six months in prison for illegally opening her bar against the Covid -19 induced lockdown rules and regulations.
Plaxedes Chivera, a court heard, opened her bar, allowed her patrons inside and sold them beer during the lockdown without exemption in January.
When she saw police officers on patrol, she opened the doors so that her patrons could escape.
Chivera appeared before Mvuma magistrate Ms Constance Mutandwa on Thursday facing one count of unlawfully and intentionally opening an establishment during lockdown without exemption.
Chivera pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $200 000 fined or six months imprisonment.
Ms Mutandwa in sentencing Chivera said she was facing a serious offence of breaching lockdown regulations.
She said there is need to pass deterrent sentences so that would be offenders will learn to take the Covid- 19 virus seriously.
Chivera who was a self-actor during her trial has since prepared an appeal against sentence through her Gweru lawyer, Mr Esau Mandipa of Mutatu and Mandipa Legal Practice.
Chivera is arguing that the sentence passed was too harsh and excessive given the economic hardships that everyone is facing due to lockdown
Prosecutor Ms Helen Khosa told the court that Chivera is employed at Touchstone bottle store in Mvuma as a bar lady.
The court heard that on January 14 around 7pm, Chivera opened her bottle store and allowed patrons to sit inside while selling beer to them.
She had locked her patrons inside the bottle store.
The court heard that Chivera saw police officers on patrol and unlocked the door to allow her patrons to escape.
Police officers managed to arrest two of the patrons namely Tinashe Bote and Portia Tafirei in the bottle store.
Bote and Tafirei were charged with drinking beer at a public place and making unnecessary movements during the lockdown and paid an admission of guilty fine of $500 each.