Prison officer loses car to fake buyer

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A DARING car thief who stole a vehicle belonging to a prison officer after pretending to be a potential buyer landed himself in hot soup after he was arrested by the police.

BY PHILLIP CHIDAVAENZI
SENIOR REPORTER

Brighton Mudzingwa (23) of Sunningdale 2 was not asked to plead when he appeared before Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei yesterday.

He was remanded in custody to January 20 and advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

For the State, prosecutor Sharon Mashavira told the court that on January 3 this year, at around 10 o’clock in the morning, Milton Chiramba (31) of Chikurubi Maximum Prison, who is employed by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, allegedly received a phone call from Mudzingwa who indicated that he wanted to see the vehicle that the former was selling, with the intention of buying it.

The complainant allegedly arranged to meet with Mudzingwa at Runhare House along Kwame Nkhrumah Avenue. When Mudzingwa arrived, the court heard, he found the accused person in the company of an accomplice identified as Ronald Mugwagwa. The complainant allegedly went with the accused persons to Chikurubi where the vehicle was parked.

The court further heard that Mugwagwa pretended to be the potential buyer. After negotiations, he allegedly agreed to pay $2 500. The complainant then gave the keys to the accused and they drove to town where the latter said he wanted to collect the money.

Upon arrival at NSSA House along Sam Nujoma Street, it is alleged that Mudzingwa and his accomplice asked the complainant to alight from the vehicle and buy affidavit forms to facilitate the processing of the agreement of sale. The accused and his accomplice then drove off.

When the complainant returned he allegedly failed to locate the vehicle. He then made a police report and follow-ups with the accused led to his arrest, although his accomplice is still at large. The vehicle was not recovered.