Zvishavane District Nursing Officer Tiny Mhlanga was on Friday sentenced to 30 months in prison after she was found guilty of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.
Mhlanga (59), who is the superior in the district, ordered clinics in her area to buy gas stoves from her and her daughter Paidamoyo at inflated prices.
The gas stoves were to be used to prepare food for delivering mothers.
After a full trial, Mhlanga was found guilty on six of the nine charges she was facing and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
However, Mhlanga will serve an effective 24 months after local Magistrate Archie Wochiunga suspended six months of the sentence for 5 years on condition of good behavior.
Prosecutor Lloyd Mavhiza told the court that the accused initially told the nurses that clinics that did not have electricity were to purchase gas tanks to be used to prepare food for mothers giving birth at their health centres.
Mavhiza said Mhlanga later gave nurses in charge of clinics a directive that gas stoves were going to be delivered with 3kg gas tanks for US$100.
However, 5kg gas stoves were later delivered and the price was increased to US$150.
Hospital drivers delivered the gas tanks while others were collected from Mhlanga’s house.
The receipts were issued in the name of Paidamoyo Mhlanga, the accused’s daughter.
The accused denied the charges and insisted that she did not give a directive to the nurses to purchase the property without following procurement procedures.
She however, admitted that there was a nurse meeting in 2014 where she suggested that clinics should buy gas stoves.