A 35-YEAR-OLD Harare man, who masqueraded as an officer in the President’s Office, has been jailed for an effective six years after he was convicted of theft, extortion and impersonation.
Regional magistrate Mr Adonia Masawi, however, acquitted Shakespear Chizengwe on other counts of robbery, rape and assault.
Chizengwe had pleaded not guilty to all the charges when his trial opened but he was convicted of theft, extortion and impersonation due to overwhelming evidence. Mr Masawi sentenced him to eight years in prison before suspending two years on condition of restitution and good behaviour.
According to the prosecutor Mr Liberty Gono, the offences were committed between July and August last year.
Sometime in July, Chizengwe approached an 18-year-old girl after she had withdrawn cash from CBZ Bank Karigamombe Branch in Harare.
Chizengwe followed the girl after which he accused her of having assaulted his child and led the girl to a bushy area between Rekayi Tangwena Avenue and Bishop Gaul Road in Belvedere. He then robbed her of US9, which was part of the money she had withdrawn from the bank.
On a different occasion, Chizengwe approached another victim in town while posing as a police officer and “apprehended” him claiming he was one of his suspects.
He allegedly took the victim to Harare’s Kopje area where he demanded his bank card and ordered him to disclose his PIN number.
Chizengwe proceeded to the bank where he withdrew US 000 from the victim’s account. Chizengwe also approached Chidochashe Munemo, masquerading as a member of the CIO.
He accused Munemo of assaulting his child during the Harare International Festival of the Arts.
He then ordered Munemo to go with him along Rotten Row where he stole his cellphone and US4 cash.
The court heard Chizengwe used the same modus operandi and approached Kelvin Sanayi at Barclays Bank in the city centre again masquerading as a member of the CIO and ordered Sanayi to accompany him to his offices.
As they walked past Harare Gardens, Chizengwe pulled the complainant’s pair of trousers and showed Sanayi a gun-like object, and demanded cash and his cellphone.