A 36-year-old student at Africa University, Manicaland, pursuing a Master’s degree in Peace and Governance was convicted of robbing supermarkets in Harare at gunpoint two years ago.
Garikai Dikito has been in Remand Prison since 2009 and on Friday appeared before regional magistrate Peter Kumbawa for sentence, but the matter was deferred to Wednesday after Kumbawa indicated he needed more time to consider appropriate punishment.
Dikito was convicted on three counts of armed robbery, a count of attempted robbery and one of being found in possession of a firearm without a licence.
Dikito’s lawyer pleaded for leniency for his client although he conceded that such types of offence attract sentences as severe as life imprisonment.
Dikito’s criminal adventures started in July 2009, when he robbed TM Supermarket Orr Street branch at gunpoint when the shop was about to close.
On the day in question, he put on a mask, produced his pistol and ordered Jennifer Chengeta, a till operator to surrender $2 385.
On September 2, Dikito pounced on OK Queensdale where he used the same modus operandi and demanded cash from Stephen Kambarami, but later sneaked out of the shop after realising Kambarami had delayed in handing over the cash.
On the same day, he targeted OK Robson Manyika, proceeded to the cash office wearing his mask and pointed a firearm at Blessing Maravanyika and Yamurai Kambozo before robbing them of $100.
A month later, Dikito robbed Centre Aper Investment after pointing a gun at Nomathemba Khumalo who surrendered $112, but in the process was identified by the security guards who tracked him to a bus rank in town.
Dikito was apprehended after boarding a Mabelreign-bound commuter omnibus and was severely assaulted by the mob before he was surrendered to the police.