COURT: Mugabe meets ex-guard charged with stealing his computers

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By Court Reporter

HARARE: A presidential guard soldier who allegedly stole over 100 laptops and computer accessories from former President Robert Mugabe has reportedly jumped bail and is now thought to be on the run.

Pepukayi Zvakavapano reportedly turned fugitive on Thursday, minutes after he met Mugabe at his house in Borrowdale for questioning after the court conducted an inspection in loco at Zimbabwe House where the stolen property was being kept.

Zvakavapano was supposed to appear in court for trial continuation but he never showed up resulting in the presiding magistrate issuing a warrant for his arrest.

Journalists were not allowed to witness the inspection in loco and Mugabe interview, but sources indicated that the veteran leader made clear he never gave Zvakavapano his property as the latter alleged.

Allegations against the suspect arose earlier this year when he reportedly teamed up with a workmate who is yet to be apprehended and stole 119 laptops and computer accessories which were being kept in containers at Zimbabwe House.

According to prosecutors, the laptops were being kept in the basement since the property was being renovated.

Zvakavapano and his accomplice reportedly shared the laptops and later sold them in Harare.

One of the stolen computers was recovered while on sale in a shop in the city centre and investigations led police to Zvakavapano who was then arrested.

In his defence, the soldier claimed that he was given the laptops by Mugabe as a token of appreciation for “good service”.

Magistrate Josephine Sande is presiding over the case.