23 November 2015

Zimbabwe: Daring 'Locksmith' Locked Up

A daring woman who moved around Chitungwiza with a bunch of keys, unlocking doors and stealing six plasma television sets and household goods worth $3 090, was on Friday jailed for three and half years. Moreblessing Mabasa (22) of Epworth handed herself over to the police and returned most of the stolen items to her victims. Mabasa, who had been given a wholly suspended two months sentence in September for theft, was not deterred by that appearance before the courts as she went back to her thieving ways and stole a plasma television every week.

She pleaded guilty to six counts of unlawful entry and theft under aggravating circumstances before Chitungwiza magistrate Ms Jessy Kufa. Ms Kufa slapped her with a four-year prison term with eight months set aside on condition she pays back $899 to two people yet to receive their property back. Ms Kufa also brought in effect the two months suspended in September for her previous offence.

In handing down the sentence, Ms Kufa described Mabasa as a "locksmith" for moving around with a bunch of keys which she used to unlock the doors. "Your moral blameworthiness is very high. You went on a stealing spree and on a weekly basis taking the same items. You used the same modus operandi to commit the offences, moving around with a bunch of keys to steal during broad daylight. You are a locksmith," said Ms Kufa.

Ms Kufa said Mabasa created confusion among his victims as they accused each other of theft. "You are an undesirable element and stealing has since become your profession. Serial thieves, we know are usually men, not women, and if you don the mantle of a man, we will deal with you as such," said Ms Kufa.

Prosecutor Mr Innocent Tizirai proved that from October 19 to November 17, Mabasa went on a stealing spree by unlocking six houses and stealing electrical gadgets. Property worth $2 051 was recovered.

Meanwhile, a 58-year-old Chitungwiza man lost $9 000 from his retrenchment package after his ex-wife allegedly bought a car and household property without his approval, a court has been told. Tarisai Mativenga (45) of Plot 1 Beatrice Farm has since appeared in court charged with theft of trust property.

She was not asked to plead to the charges when she appeared before Chitungwiza resident magistrate Mrs Renika Dzikiti, who remanded her out of custody to tomorrow for trial. Prosecutor Mr Norman Koropi told the court that during September, Mr John Mativenga of Unit M, Chitungwiza, received a lump sum of $12 000 as an exit package.

The court heard that he put the money in a metal box, locked it and placed it in his bedroom. He then left the money with his wife as he went to stay in Karoi for a month. Tarisai allegedly misappropriated the money and when Mativenga returned home, he was surprised to find only $3 000 left.

He asked Tarisai about the missing $9 000 and was told that she had used $4 000 to buy household property and the other $5 000 to buy a car. Tarisai moved to Beatrice when John started demanding his money.

The matter was reported to the police leading to her arrest.

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