Reprieve for Presidential Guard soldier

HARARE - A Harare magistrate has dismissed a bid to cage — pending trial — a soldier who duped former president Robert Mugabe of computers and accessories worth $50 000 for allegedly intimidating witnesses.

Prosecutor Fransisca Mukumbiri had made the application arguing Pepukai Zvakavapano, a Presidential Guard soldier, had scared off witnesses from coming to testify during his trial.

He is facing theft charges.

“The investigating officer clearly stated that he was advised by complainants that they were being threatened when he testified during this application,” magistrate Josephine Sande ruled.

“However, the court cannot make a decision based on such reports because those witnesses were not present to adduce the evidence. The complainant’s liberty cannot be prejudiced and the court will not confine him to remand prison pending finalisation of his trial.”

According to State papers, the complainant is Mugabe represented by Enoch Nyamurima, 52, a provincial intelligence officer in the President’s department.

Mukumbiri alleged that sometime in March, Zimbabwe House was to undergo renovations and had Mugabe’s household goods, including a printer, computers and accessories.

The court heard that Nyamurima was instructed to transfer the goods from Zimbabwe House to Polloground where five shipping containers had been put to secure the goods in custody.

The goods were transferred and secured in the containers.

On April 3, Zvakavapano and his accomplice Marega were deployed at the five containers location doing perimeter guard duties.

During the night, Zvakavapano and Marega allegedly broke three padlocks on three of the containers and stole various amounts of computer accessories, laptops, desk top computer sets and printers valued $49 982.

It was alleged the property was moved over a precast wall but Zvakavapano and Marega were disturbed by other soldiers on patrol and dumped four boxed laptops, a printer and an empty box of a Xerox printer and disappeared to avoid detection.

Zvakavapano and Marega allegedly returned to take the property from their hide-out point and shared the spoils.

The court heard that Zvakavapano began selling the stuff at giveaway prices in Harare.

Meanwhile, a soldier who poured paraffin on his pregnant girlfriend before setting her ablaze during an altercation was on Tuesday slapped with seven years’ imprisonment.

Trust Mugari, 29, was convicted of attempted murder before Harare regional magistrate Lucy Mungwari.

Mungwari sentenced Mugari to seven years before suspending two years on condition of good behaviour.

His girlfriend, Pamela Dhliwayo, 30, survived the attack after her sister who was present during the incident poured a bucket of water on her to douse the fire.

However, she allegedly lost the pregnancy.

Prosecutor Ephraim Zinyandu proved that on September 18 last year around 4pm Dhliwayo and her sister Natasha went to Mugari’s friend (Wonder)’s residence looking for him.

When they arrived, Wonder’s wife was at the house and they were told that Mugari was not present.

They returned home and that night Mugari and Wonder barged into Dhliwayo’s house and began assaulting her.

Mugari and friend queried why she had gone looking for him at Wonder’s house saying it was embarrassing.

Wonder joined in the attack and assisted his friend to assault Dhliwayo and only left for his home later but Mugari continued attacking the victim.

Mugari began demanding his army uniform and went outside the house waiting for Dhliwayo to hand it over to him.

While Dhliwayo was looking for the uniform, Wonder returned to the house claiming he had lost his cellphone and cap during the fracas and ransacked the room searching for it but could not find the items.

Mugari removed his belt and bashed the woman before reaching for a paraffin stove and poured the fuel over Dhliwayo’s body before setting her ablaze.

He then sat and watched at a distance in the house while Dhliwayo burned and screamed for help.

Dhliwayo’s sister came with a bucket of water and poured it on her to douse the fire but she had sustained third degree burns.

When Mugari realised the extent of injuries sustained by Dhliwayo, he left the room and jumped over a precast wall to avoid arrest.

Dhliwayo was taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital where she was detained in intensive care and treated for the multiple burns sustained on the upper part of her body.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.