BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
SERIAL rapist Sam Muropa, popularly known as Gunners, appeared in court yesterday for raping and robbing 19 women while disguising himself as a taxi driver.
Muropa (31) also faces impersonation and money-laundering charges.
Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi remanded him in custody to September 18 for trial.
It is alleged that Muropa, who was driving a Toyota Wish vehicle and with three accomplices, on July 27, picked up the complainant in Harare’s central business district (CBD).
When the vehicle reached Harare CBD, one of his accomplices, who was seated at the back seat, grabbed the complainant by the neck pointing a pistol at her.
Muropa, who was seated on the front passenger seat, took the complainant’s handbag and stole US$600. They later dumped her at Chikurubi Prison Farm.
The total value stolen from her was US$750.
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On July 29, another complainant boarded Muropa’s vehicle in Houghton Park enroute to the CBD. The vehicle had two other occupants. Along the way, he diverted from the route on the pretext that he was avoiding a police roadblock along Ardbennie Road.
Later, Muropa produced a knife and threatened to slit the complainant’s throat. He robbed her of two cellphones, a passport and US$20, among other items. Muropa and his accomplices then pushed her out of the moving vehicle along Boshoff Drive at Mukuvisi River Bridge.
On July 30, he picked another complainant at a Pafence Bus Stop in Granary Phase 3, Harare, intending to go into the CBD. There were three other occupants in the vehicle.
They later parked the vehicle in a bushy area in Nharira Farm where one of the occupants raped her without protection. They robbed her of two cellphones, identity documents and US$13.
She was dumped at an unknown place and was rescued by a Good Samaritan, who contacted her sister. The total value of the goods was US$713 and nothing was recovered.
Another victim lost two cellphones, and $4 900 in her Ecocash account, US$170 cash and a pair of shoes before she was raped and later dumped at Nharira Farm.
They used similar modus operandi to rob and rape 14 more women between August 2 and August 16.
He was nabbed on August 16. During a search by police detectives, they recovered a Zimbabwe Military Police identity card in the name of Thilli Abednico NR: 59-037249 X 67 and Zimbabwe National Army identity card in the name of Pride N Elate Mutembedza, which he was using to commit crimes.
Police also recovered an expired practice certificate and identity card belonging to Norman Chimuka, a lawyer. The accused bought an Audi A4, registration number AFA0272 using proceeds of crime. The vehicle was recovered and it is being held as an exhibit.
Follow Desmond on Twitter @DChingarande1