Neighbourhood terror as bailed Mugabe laptops looter hunts down witnesses

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A PRESIDENTIAL guard soldier who was arrested for stealing 119 laptops from former President Robert Mugabe is terrorising witnesses and they are now living in fear of their lives, a Harare court heard on Thursday.

Pepukayi Zavakavapano has reportedly confronted all witnesses testifying against him prompting prosecutor Francesca Mukumbiri to beg the court cancel his bail conditions so that neighbours can live in peace.

Mukumbiri made the application saying the accused was in breach of his bail conditions since he was ordered not to interfere with witnesses.

“Your worship, the accused has interfered with all remaining witnesses to testify against him. Some reside in the same neighbourhood with him and they are now living in fear.

“The accused is using his job to intimidate and scare witnesses so we apply that his bail be cancelled and may he be sent back to jail pending finalisation of his case,” said the prosecutor.

Zvakavapano’s attorney, however, opposed the application saying only theHigh Court Judge who granted his client bail, had the authority to incarcerate him.

He said if the Judge is not available, only another High Court Judge can preside over the issue at hand.

Harare magistrate Josephine Sande adjourned the case to Friday for ruling.

She advised both parties to find case laws relating to the application and the defence’s response.

Zvakavapano landed in the dock after he purportedly stole laptops belonging to Mugabe while on duty sometime in April this year.

It is his defence that he was given the property by Mugabe as a token of appreciation for good service rendered.

He also laid the blame on Alexander Nyamurima, Mugabe’s former chief security officer.

Zvakavapano is facing theft and unlawful entry charges.

But Nyamurima told court that the laptops were supposed to be donated to schools.

According to prosecutor Francesca Mukumbiri, Zvakavapano stole property worth $50 000.

Zvakavapano allegedly connived with one Marega, still at large, to steal from the five containers which were in the basement.

This was after the Zimbabwe House was to undergo renovations in March this year.

Mugabe’s property was then moved to allow contractors to work freely.

Zvakavapano and his accomplice then stole the laptops and other accessories valued $49 982.

They sold the loot and shared the proceeds.

Nine witnesses are yet to testify against him.