A 25-YEAR-OLD convict, Blessing Makomborero Chiduke who is currently serving an effective 18-year jail term for robbery of motor vehicles, was yesterday slapped with another 10-year effective jail term for his outstanding robbery cases.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Chiduke stunned the court on Monday this week when he voluntarily pleaded with the court to ask the State to order the police to submit to the court all his outstanding robbery dockets.
Regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya accepted Chiduke’s request after stressing upon him that he was not being coerced to plead guilty to the robbery charges but would be credited for his genuine pleas of guilty.
Yesterday Chiduke pleaded guilty to robbing three motorists in and around Harare and used the robbed vehicles as pirate taxis at his rural home in Mahusekwa.
In his mitigation before being sentenced, Chiduke chronicled a chilling account of how he, together with his accomplices, throttled, choked and strangled unsuspecting taxi drivers who they later robbed of their cars after stealing all their possessions.
Mujaya sentenced Chiduke to a total of 16 years’ imprisonment for the three counts, but ordered a first count sentence to run concurrently with a second count and also suspended a year on condition of good behaviour leaving him with an effective 10-year jail term.
Chiduke’s decision to plead guilty before completion of his current jail term seemed to have paid off since the 10-year effective jail term imposed yesterday would automatically run concurrently with his current jail serving term.
In respect of the last cases the court heard, the complainant Nathan Sibanda of Triangle, Highfield, a taxi driver, was on June 20 last year parked at Karigamombe Centre when Chiduke and his gang hired him to Koala Park.
Sibanda drove along Seke Road proceeding to Koala Park and as they reached Koala Park he was instructed by Chiduke to turn left into a dust road.
After a distance of about a kilometre Chiduke instructed Sibanda to stop pretending to have reached their destination and all of a sudden he grabbed him by the neck and forced him outside the vehicle.
They tied Sibanda’s hands with a piece of cloth and his legs with his belt before stealing $54 from him and gave him a $1 to use for transport back home.
He then proceeded to Mahusekwa where he employed one Vanroy Goremucheche as a taxi driver.
The court heard he used the same modus operandi each time he pounced on seven of his other victims.