A 32-YEAR-OLD Murewa man who robbed a taxi driver whom he had hired of his vehicle at knifepoint before being shot twice after trying to flee from the police last week appeared before Marondera magistrate Jabulani Mzinyathi.
By Jairos Saunyama
He was facing a charge of robbing Voster Mangoya (32) of his taxi.
Tapfumanei Muchena, of Gororo Village under Chief Mangwende in Murewa, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The matter was postponed to October 15 to give time to the accused who is still nursing gunshot wounds.
According to court papers, on the night of October 5 this year, the complainant parked his taxi (Reg ACK 6314), pink in colour, outside Tutani Night Club at Dombotombo shopping centre waiting for clients.
It is reported that Muchena approached Mangoya in the company of two females, Jane Potamira and Thandiwe Mapuka, before requesting to be taken to another drinking hole called Redrat Outdoor, located in the Marondera central business district.
Mangoya agreed and charged them $9 as the fare which was to be paid by the accused.
Upon arrival at Redrat Outdoor, they found it had already closed and the accused asked the complainant to drive them back to Tutani Night Club.
On arrival, the complainant asked for his payment, but the accused did not have the money.
Muchena then requested Mangoya to drive him to Rusike Hostels where he promised to source the money, but again upon arrival at the hostels, the accused failed to get the money.
It is reported that the accused further requested the complainant to drive him to Tatenda Street in Dombotombo where he promised to get money from a friend and the complainant agreed.
While they were driving along Tatenda Street, the accused suddenly struck the complainant with an empty beer bottle on the cheek, forcing him to stop the vehicle.
It is alleged that the accused further produced a knife and threatened the complainant with death before ordering him out of the car.
The accused then jumped onto the driver’s seat and sped off with the car, $80 in cash and a Nokia X2 cellphone belonging to the complainant.
Mangoya rushed and reported the matter at Dombotombo Police Station.
It is reported that police made follow-ups and the accused was spotted the following day driving the stolen car in Gororo Village at around 4pm.
Upon being ordered to stop by the police, Muchena allegedly failed to heed to the police instructions and sped off, resulting in police firing three warning shots which he also ignored, prompting a car chase.
The accused was then shot on both thighs, leading to his arrest.
The stolen property was valued at $3 600 and $3 500 was recovered. Babra Mabika is prosecuting.