A man from Queenspark West suburb in Bulawayo who went on a robbery spree targeting school pupils lying to them that he was a Zambian before he robbed them will live to rue his actions after he was slapped with an effective 19-month jail term.
Leornard Tafirenyika Nyabadza (43) was handed his jail package when he appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Linear Khumalo facing two counts of theft.
He pleaded not guilty to both counts but was, however, convicted after a full trial.
For the first count he was slapped with a 15 months jail sentence of which six months were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within a period of five years.
A further two months were suspended on condition that he restitutes the complainants R500 by 16 October being the value of the cellphone which he robbed them.
For the second count the magistrate sentenced him to serve 12 months in prison and three months were suspended on condition that he restitutes the complainant US$143.
The magistrate brought into effect three months of a suspended sentence of a theft case which he committed in 2022. This means he will effectively serve 19 months behind bars. In sentencing him the magistrate noted that Nyabadza was a repeat offender who has a propensity of stealing.
She highlighted that sometime in 2022 Nyabadza was arrested for theft after he faked his identity and was handed a three months sentence which was wholly suspended on condition that he pays $20 000 fine but he never paid it and went into hiding.
The court noted that he was on a warrant of arrest and due to that he had to be sent to jail to reform.
The court heard that sometime last month on a date not known by the prosecutor Nyabadza who was in the company of a lady who is yet to be arrested met a 14-year-old pupil in Pumula East suburb heading to school and stopped her.
Nyabadza told the teenage girl that he was from Zambia before he requested her to collect groceries for him at a nearby house.
The minor girl fell for the trap and they asked her to hand over her cellphone to him and she complied.
Nyabadza and his accomplice who is on the run disappeared with her cellphone and she reported the incident to the police.
On the second occasion late last month he met another pupil while he was in the company of his two other male accomplices who are also still at large and used the same modus operandi to rob her of her satchel which contained exercise books and other school materials.
They gave her a receipt bearing US$ 3000 and requested her to go and collect it from a nearby house.
When she left they ran away with her satchel. The minor girl reported the incident to the police leading to the arrest of Nyabadza.