A HARARE man who broke into several premises and cars in Binga stealing property and cash worth $9 500 was on Tuesday convicted and referred to the Bulawayo High Court for sentence after the magistrate said he deserved a sentence higher than under a magistrate’s jurisdiction.
Bernard Mukandawire (29) pleaded not guilty to five counts of unlawful entry, one of unauthorised borrowing, seven counts of theft and one of possession of articles for criminal use, when he appeared before Binga resident magistrate Stephen Ndlovu.
The magistrate convicted him on all counts and remanded him in custody to October 29 to appear in the Bulawayo High Court for sentence.
In referring him to the High Court, Ndlovu said according to the reservations on his numerous criminal cases, the sentence which he is supposed to be given is beyond his jurisdiction and was therefore obliged to refer him to the High Court for sentencing.
Prosecutor Bruce Maphosa told the court that on February 26 this year, Mukandawire took Mangisi Mudenda’s speed boat without authority and went to a Binga plot where Medicine Muleya is a caretaker.
Armed with a bolt cutter, Mukandawire broke into the storeroom and stole a 10-horsepower boat engine, a 30-horsepower boat engine, a set of nine spanners and a heavy duty welding machine.
He also broke into a car parked on the premises belonging to clients from South Africa and stole $3 000 and R5 000 in cash.
He then loaded the stuff inside the speed boat and disappeared with his loot.
On March 5, Mukandawire stole a car battery at the same plot, but was seen by Muleya before he could flee.
Mukandawire also broke into prison officer Leonard Mugande’s place and stole some property before stealing a car battery from Daleach.
He kept some of the loot in the bush and some at his residence.
The speedboat was found abandoned in the Zambezi River.
He forgot his mobile phone in the boat and the police traced him using the gadget, leading to his arrest on March 9 after receiving a tip-off that a man was living in the bush and raided him.
Only property worth $2 500 was recovered from Mukandawire’s bush hideout.
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