Magistrate hails ‘honest’ convict

court hammer editTendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter—
A Harare regional magistrate yesterday lauded a convict serving 18 years in prison for theft of motor vehicles who voluntarily confessed on Wednesday that he had other similar cases, saying he did not waste the court’s time. Blessing Makomborero Chiduke (25) confessed when he was brought before Mr Hoseah Mujaya to answer to another charge of theft of a motor vehicle.

He then pleaded guilty to the charge before telling the court that he had two other similar cases, which were yet to be brought before the courts.
Mr Mujaya then allowed the police to prepare a docket for the two other charges he mentioned.

Chiduke then reappeared before Mr Mujaya yesterday facing three counts of theft of motor vehicles.
He pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to five years in prison for the first count, six years in jail for the second count and five years for the third count.
Mr Mujaya said the first and second counts will run concurrently leaving Chiduke with 11 years to serve.

One year was set aside on condition of good behaviour leaving an effective 10-year jail term.
The 10 years will run concurrently with his previous sentence of 18 years.

In passing the sentence Mr Mujaya noted that by pleading guilty to the charges, Chiduke did not waste the court’s time adding that other suspects despite overwhelming evidence against them still deny the charges.

In aggravation, prosecutor Ms Valerie Ngoma urged the court to hand down a lengthy prison term arguing that Chiduke was a menace to society.
In one of the cases to which he pleaded guilty yesterday, Chiduke robbed a taxi driver, Nathan Shanda, of his vehicle.

Ms Ngoma told the court that the incident took place in June last year, when Shanda parked the car at Karigamombe Centre.
Chiduke and his accomplices, who are still at large, approached Shanda during the night on the pretext they wanted to hire his car to Koala Park and he agreed.

When they arrived at Koala Park, Chiduke and his accomplices asked Shanda to turn left into a gravel road and after travelling for a kilometre, the gang asked him to stop.

Chiduke grabbed Shanda by the neck before tying both his hands and legs using a piece of cloth and his belt.
They searched Shanda and took US$54 and his cellphone, before giving him US$1 to travel back to the city centre.

Chiduke later employed Vanroy Goremucheche to drive the stolen car as a taxi in Mahusekwa.
Goremucheche was later fired after he failed to meet Chiduke’s US$150 per week target.

The unregistered car was later impounded by police after Chiduke gave it to another driver, Chamunorwa Shonhiwa.
Chiduke was arrested in Epworth while driving another vehicle stolen from Marondera.

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