Ten witnesses to testify against soldier who robbed Mugabes

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Court Reporter

TEN witnesses are expected to testify against a soldier who allegedly stole computers worth $50,000 from former president Robert Mugabe’s family.

Pepukai Zvakavapano’s trial failed to start as expected Wednesday after the State sought a postponement.

The soldier appeared before Harare magistrate Josephine Sande who deferred the case to May 6.

“Your worship, we seek that the matter be postponed on basis that the State has seven documents that should be furnished to the defence which include five witness statements, an inventory and another which confirms donation of those computers to the complainant (Mugabe),” said the prosecutor.

Zvakavapano has since denied the theft charges, claiming that Mugabe gave him the laptops and computer accessories as a token of appreciation for “good service rendered during his tenure as president”.

He insisted that the ousted leader was prepared to testify in court substantiating this version of events.

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

Prosecutors allege that sometime in March this year, Zimbabwe House was to undergo renovations, but the state property still contained Mugabe’s property including printers, computers and accessories.

Court heard that Nyamurima was instructed to transfer the goods from Zimbabwe House to Pollo Grounds where five shipping containers had been provided to secure the property.

The goods were transferred and secured in the containers.

On April 3, Zvakavapano and an accomplice identified as Marega were deployed at the five containers location to conduct perimeter guard duties.

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

It was alleged that property was moved over a precast wall and with the duo later sharing the loot.

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

Earlier this month, police detectives came across one of the stolen laptops in shop 11 Nhaka Parade in Harare.

Investigations led to the arrest of Zvakavapano after his agents exposed him. Some of the laptops, computers and accessories were recovered at his residence.