HomeLocal NewsJailbird pounces on Chinese diplomat

Jailbird pounces on Chinese diplomat

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A 29-year-old Gweru man, Prince Chikanga, was last Friday slapped with eight years’ imprisonment for robbing a Chinese diplomat, Li Hua and other Chinese tourists of property valued at $5 000 on their way from Victoria Falls.

Property valued at $3 600 was recovered.
Chikanga (29) will serve an effective seven years in jail after a year was suspended from the total sentence on condition he pays restitution of $1 400 by August 31.
The incident occurred at a robot-controlled intersection of Herbert Chitepo and Prince Edward Roads, in Harare on April 8 at around 8:30pm. The Chinese nationals were travelling in a Toyota Coaster which had been hired by the embassy to take its nationals from Victoria Falls to Harare.

When the vehicle approached the robot, the driver, Mutandwa Chamboko, stopped the vehicle and suddenly Chikanga emerged and smashed the rear window through which he fished out two satchels containing $1 400, four camera lenses and two memory cards.

He sold the memory cards to David Kandawasvika who was later arrested by the police following a tip-off and led to the recovery of the camera lenses. Kandawasvika implicated Chikanga who was successfully tracked down by the police and arrested last month.

Chikanga appeared before provincial magistrate Kudakwashe Jarabini facing a charge of theft and was convicted after a full trial. In passing sentence the magistrate described Chikanga, who recently completed serving another jail term, as a menace to society who deserved to be separated from the public.

“Accused is not a first offender. He was convicted of a similar offence in June 2007 and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment. This is clearly an indication that the accused is an unrepentant individual.

“He committed the offence barely few months after his release from prison,” said the magistrate.

The magistrate also noted with concern that criminals targeting motorists at robot-controlled intersections were increasing and motorists were now resorting to disobeying traffic laws in a bid to avoid being attacked.

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