HARARE - Three men suspected of stealing a cell phone from President Robert Mugabe’s son Bellarmine Chatunga appeared in court yesterday.
The iPhone 6 phone has been recovered, and Victor Josam, 26, of Western Triangle in Harare, Tendai Makambaire, 30, of Budiriro 2 and Kelvin Mwandayi, 27, of Stoneridge, have been arraigned before Harare provincial magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe on a charge of theft and larceny.
They were released on $100 bail each and ordered to continue residing at their given addresses.
Prosecutor Venacia Mutake initially opposed bail on the basis that the three men were facing a serious offence and were likely to skip bail because they faced a prison term.
But the magistrate said: “If bail can be granted in cases of treason and murder, what more a case of cellphone theft? The State has not presented cogent reasons for opposing the accused persons’ right to bail.”
The trio alleged that they were all victims of circumstance since each of them handled the cell phone after buying it from their accomplices.
According to State papers, Josam, Makambaire, Mwandayi and another accused person who is still at large, hatched a plan to steal from students during a function at St John’s College.
The trio allegedly targeted Chatunga after noticing that he had an iPhone 6 Plus, the State claims.
Chatunga and his friend Honour Mukudzei Rwodzi left for the gents.
When they arrived at the toilets, Chatunga gave Rwodzi the phone while he went inside.
The court heard that Josam and his accomplices then approached Rwodzi and misrepresented to him that they had been instructed by Chatunga to get the iPhone.
Rwodzi was convinced by the accused persons and gave them Chatunga’s phone, the court heard.
Josam and his accomplices disappeared into the crowd.
The matter was reported to the police before a follow-up was made, leading to the accused persons’ arrest.