Habitual thief jailed

Fungai Jachi Court Correspondent
A habitual thief, who is also an ex-convict, was yesterday slapped with an eight-year jail term on nine counts of unlawful entry by Mbare magistrate Ms Anita Tshuma. Alec Zhemi, of No. 673 Chinamano Extension, Epworth, allegedly stole property worth $12 314. He was sentenced to 12 years in jail but two years were suspended for five years on condition he does not commit a similar offence during that period.

Another two years were suspended on condition he restitutes all the nine complainants.

Ms Tshuma added eight months to Zhemi’s sentence which were suspended on his previous conviction in 2012.

He will serve an effective eight years and eight months.

In passing sentence, Ms Tshuma said despite pleading guilty to all counts, Zhemi had committed a series of similar offences, which is regarded as a serious offence, and that a custodial sentence was the only logical punishment he deserved.

“You are not a first offender and it has been proved that you are a habitual offender. You even told this court that you survive by stealing. Therefore, it is the duty of the court to remove people like you from the society,” she said.

Prosecuting, Mr Tafara Chirambira implored the court for a custodial sentence arguing that Zhemi had a propensity to steal and was a menace to society.

All the nine counts were committed during the night when Zhemi broke into different houses through the windows.

Upon gaining entry, Zhemi targeted electrical gadgets including mobile phones and laptops.

Zhemi was arrested after police received a tip-off to the effect that he was selling stolen property.

Property worth $5 150 was recovered.

Meanwhile, a suspected thief who was being held at St Mary’s Police Station in Chitungwiza following arrest for allegedly stealing a cellphone escaped from police custody only to be re-arrested at a local school where he had sought refuge, reports Lovemore Meya.

Peace Chidhau (29) of 48 Kubvumbi, Zengeza 3, Chitungwiza, was arrested on Friday last week at around 6pm.

Appearing before Chitungwiza magistrate Ms Blessing Murwisi, Chidhau pleaded guilty to charges of escaping from lawful custody.

He was remanded in custody to Monday to allow prosecutor Mr Edmond Ndambakuwa time to verify if Chidhau has no previous convictions.

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