A SOLDIER and his accomplice accused of unlawful entry and theft at former President Robert Mugabe’s Blue Roof residence yesterday pleaded guilty to trespassing, but denied stealing water taps and electric cables.
The duo claimed they were caught while only looking for traditional herbs inside the former President’s orchard.
Ngonidzashe Kapasura (26), of the Presidential Guard Unit, who is charged along with Raymond Chahwanda (23), told magistrate Victoria Mashamba that they were only looking for traditional herbs which he used to see while guarding the premises during the tenure of the former President.
“I went inside the Blue Roof searching for herbs and while in the middle of searching, I saw security guards who asked me what I was looking for,” Kapasura pleaded.
“When the security guards apprehended us, we were not holding anything. We just told them that we were looking for traditional herbs.”
Kapasura and Chahwanda are accused of stealing two water taps, two electric cables and a switch from a house at the Blue Roof residence.
He told the court that Mugabe’s aides were framing him.
“The property which they allege we stole was, in fact, collected from the house to fix us for trespassing. They apprehended us outside the house, but they led us inside the house and collected the said stolen property, saying they want to fix us,” Kapasura further told the court.
Chahwanda said he was arrested after he accompanied his brother to search for a traditional herb which was inside the property.
However, the State witnesses, who are security guards who include Fredson Peter and Edwin Rwesere, gave conflicting statements as to where they arrested the two.
Peter said he found the two outside the house and asked them what they were doing, after which they told him that they were looking for herbs, while Rwesere said he found Kapasura inside the house while trying to pull out electric cables from the wall.
None of the witness said they found the two holding the said stolen property. The witnesses told the court that they found the said stolen property inside the house.
Kapasura and Chahwanda said they never entered the house, but were found outside searching for herbs.
However, Mashamba put Kapasura and Chahwanda to their defence at the close of the State case and they were expected to testify late yesterday.
It is the State’s case that on January 6 this year, the complainant, Peter, was on duty carrying out his perimeter checks when he came across Kapasura and Chahwanda, who had unlawfully entered the protected area.
It is alleged Peter then approached the two accused persons to inquire what they wanted at Mugabe’s residence.
Peter then found the two being in possession of two water taps, 15 meter-long red and black electric cables and a wall switch, which they had stolen from one of the rooms at the complainant’s place of duty.
The total value of stolen property is $150.
Lancelot Mutsokoti appeared for the State.