The State yesterday filed an application to revoke the bail given to soldier Pepukai Zvakavapano, who is accused of stealing former President Robert Mugabe’s computers at the Zimbabwe House, claiming the accused was interfering with witnesses.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
The courts heard that Zvakavapano, who is represented by Tinashe Mbara, visited all the State witnesses and threatened them with unspecified action after the matter went to court.
“Your worship, we are applying for the accused person to be commuted to prison as he is turning a deaf ear to the court order of not interfering with State witnesses. The accused has visited all our witnesses together with his colleagues to instil fear into them and warning them not to come and testify against him,” prosecutor Francisca Mukumbiri said.
“The accused is taking advantage of his profession to intimidate the witnesses who reside in Chitungwiza.”
But accused’s lawyer objected, saying only the High Court had the prerogative to revoke bail. Presiding magistrate Josephine Sande then ordered both the State and defence to submit case laws relating to the issue before she could make her ruling today.
Allegations are that soon after Mugabe’s ouster last year, government ordered his aide Wonder Nyamurima to collect all his property kept at Zimbabwe House and lock it up in five containers at the premises for security purposes.
The State alleges on April 3, Zvakavapano and an accomplice only identified as Marega, were tasked to provide overnight security duties to the property.
At around 2am, the duo allegedly broke into the containers and stole seven computer monitors, CPUs, keyboards, mouse pads, 57 Inspur model laptops, 44 large and small Lenovo laptops, 18 HP printers, four Sahara and Mercer complete desktop computer sets, as well as two Xerox printers.
They allegedly hid part of the loot and dumped some after they were interrupted by other soldiers on duty.
The accused allegedly later collected their loot and sold to different people and computer dealers at giveaway prices in the city.
On April 10, detectives came across one of the stolen Inspur laptops on display at a shop in town.
The shop owners then spilled the beans after being interrogated, leading to Zvakavapano’s arrest and recovery of some of the computers. The top soldier has denied the theft charge.