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Press Statement on the release of SDR 677 436 012 by the IMF to #Zimbabwe
Full statement on the meeting between the President of Zimbabwe and the National Council of Chiefs on Gukurahundi in Bulawayo
Todiniko navanhu vamasvingo
Todiniko navanhu vamasvingo
*Pirate taxi driver charged after 21 women r***d and robbed in Harare*
HARARE – A 31-year-old man from Kuwadzana in Harare drove around Harare in an unmarked Toyota Wish picking up women looking for transport before robbing and ra**ng some, the Harare Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday.
Sam Muropa, 31, was charged with 19 counts of robbery, six counts of r**e, one count of aggravated indecent assault, three counts of indecent assault, one count of money laundering and one count of impersonating an officer.
Three victims were robbed of their Covid-19 vaccination cards, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) charged.
Prosecutors said police were following other leads and the list of his crimes is likely to grow beyond the 21 victims so far identified. All were attacked in the last two months.
Magistrate David Mangosi ordered Muropa held without bail. He will return to court on September 8.
Anesu Chirenje, for the NPA, told the court that Muropa – acting in connivance with two other suspects still at large – took advantage of public transport shortages and lured nearly two-dozen women into their pirate taxi pretending to offer them a lift to their intended destinations.
Instead, the silver Toyota Wish with registration AFM5235 would deviate from the route and the women were all robbed, and sometimes r***d.
Victim 1: A 21-year-old woman from New Chadcombe boarded the Toyota Wish at around midday on August 12 this month along Chiremba Road opposite Chadcombe shops. There were three men in the vehicle including Muropa.
The driver later turned left into Biddulffs road in Queensdale heading towards the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport. Muropa, who sat behind the victim, allegedly demanded cash and other valuables whilst threatening her with harm.
The NPA says he snatched her handbag containing US$70, Z$320, a Samsung S phone and earphones. The vehicle stopped near the ‘Zimbabwe Independence 1980’ arch close to the airport. The driver and a second man, the court heard, disembarked and opened the bonnet pretending the vehicle had broken down. Muropa r***d the victim without protection. She picked him out at an identification parade following his arrest, the court was told.
Victim 2: A 24-year-old woman from Gunhill suburb flagged down the Toyota Wish at Tomlinson roundabout intending to get into central Harare at around 11AM on August 12. There were two men in the vehicle.
The prosecution says as the vehicle drove along Old Enterprise Road, Muropa, who was seated at the back, grabbed the woman and demanded valuables. She handed over US$37 and an iPhone XR. They dumped her along Victoria Drive.
Victim 3: A 34-year-old woman from Old Highfield boarded the Toyota Wish with two male occupants at Mastones bus terminus at around 11AM on August 13. She was going to town.
The vehicle had driven a short distance when Muropa allegedly pulled out a knife and robbed the woman of US$12 and an Itel mobile phone. The NPA says the woman was punched and slapped before being ordered to lie down across the seat with her eyes closed.
The vehicle stopped near GMB Aspindale and the driver disembarked leaving Muropa to r**e the victim. Muropa pushed her off the vehicle as it sped off from the scene. The victim, who was treated for minor injuries at Sally Mugabe Hospital, later picked out Muropa at a formal identification parade, according to the NPA.
Victim 4: Just an hour after the attack on the third victim, the NPA says Muropa was back on the prowl. A 23-year-old woman from Greencroft boarded the Toyota Wish with her friend intending to go to the CBD. There were two men in the vehicle.
The NPA says as the vehicle entered the city centre, Muropa suddenly grabbed the victim by the neck while pushing her friend out of the vehicle. Muropa, it is alleged, emptied the woman’s handbag and found US$6 and a Tecno mobile phone.
They allegedly drove the woman to a secluded place near a bridge in Westwood where the driver r***d the victim after Muropa had pulled off her clothes.
Victim 5: On August 14, a 37-year-old woman boarded the Toyota Wish in Houghton Park intending to go to the city centre. There were two men in the vehicle.
The prosecution says the vehicle drove along Simon Mazorodze Road but went off route when it got to the Rothmans traffic lights as the driver turned into Willowvale Road. When the victim protested, she got no answer from either the driver or Muropa.
Muropa, the court heard, put a blindfold on her as the vehicle took Machipisa Road. The woman was robbed of a Samsung tablet and an Infinix Note 6. The vehicle came to a stop at Southerton Industries and the victim was pushed off.
Victim 6: A 23-year-old woman from Southlands Park flagged down the Toyota Wish at around 9AM near the Mbudzi roundabout intending to go to town. There were two men in the vehicle.
When the vehicle got to Zindoga Shopping Centre along Simon Mazorodze Road, the driver pulled off the road and instructed the victim to surrender her valuables. When she resisted, Muropa allegedly grabbed and pulled her hair at the same time instructing her to comply.
After taking her mobile phone, the two men allegedly ordered her to undress. She removed all her clothes and remained with a skin tight. The two men then drove up to the Cold Comfort area and dumped her there.
Victim 7: At about 2.40PM on July 29, a 30-year-old woman from Houghton Park boarded a silver Toyota Wish with two occupants including the driver. The driver suddenly took a detour and when the woman sought an explanation, the driver said he was avoiding a police checkpoint near the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation offices.
The vehicle proceeded along Ardbennie towards OK Ardbennie. Muropa, the court heard, produced a knife and robbed the woman of two mobile phones, her passport, medical aid cards and US$20 in cash. She was pushed off the moving vehicle along Boshoff Road near Mukuvisi bridge.
Victim 8: A 23-year-old woman from Kuwadzana 2 flagged down a Toyota Wish at Pafence bus stop in Granary Phase 3 at around 10.30AM on July 30. The vehicle had three men including the driver.
Just before the vehicle got to Whitehouse Shops, one of the men allegedly produced a knife and ordered the woman not to lift up her head. She was punched and slapped.
The vehicle stopped in a bushy area at Nharira Farm. After robbing her of an iPhone 8 Plus, a Samsung J4 Plus, ID card and US$13, Muropa allegedly r***d the woman once. She was treated at Family Support Clinic after being dumped roadside.
Victim 9: Just an hour after the incident involving the eighth victim, the NPA says a 45-year-old woman from Zvimba flagged down the Toyota Wish not far from where the eighth victim was kidnapped.
As the vehicle approached the Whitehouse Shopping Centre, Muropa allegedly pulled out a knife and ordered the woman to put her head between her legs and not to make noise.
The vehicle came to a stop at a secluded place. Muropa, the court heard, asked the woman if she was HIV positive to which she replied in the affirmative. Muropa allegedly ordered her to open her mouth and orally r***d her. They took her mobile phone with Z$4,900 EcoCash and Z$170 in cash. She was dumped at Nharira Farm where they earlier dumped the eighth victim.
Victim 10: At around 11AM on August 1, the 21-year-old victim from Mabelreign boarded the Toyota Wish at corner Samora Machel and Rhodesville Avenue. The vehicle had three male occupants.
She was grabbed by the neck from behind, and at knifepoint she was robbed of US$105, a Samsung A20 phone, an HP Laptop, a USB drive and hard drive.
The woman was allegedly stripped naked and then dumped roadside. Her handbag was thrown out through the window as the gang sped off. Police recovered her laptop when Muropa was arrested and she positively identified it.
Victim 11: On August 6, at around 9.40AM, a 32-year-old woman from Kuwadzana 2 boarded the Toyota Wish at Blue Line bus stop in Kuwadzana Extension. It had three men, including the driver.
When the vehicle turned into Bulawayo Road heading towards central Harare, one of the men who was seated in the front went to the back seat as the vehicle was moving and pressed the woman against the floor of the car demanding cash. A second man brandished a knife and threatened to stab her if she resisted. They robbed her of an Itel P33 phone, white quilts cover bed and US$6.
The men allegedly instructed her to remove her clothes as they suspected she had concealed some valuables. They then allegedly instructed her to insert her fingers in her privates which she was not allowed to remove for 20 minutes at the threat of being r***d. She was dumped near a railway line in Tynwald South suburb. The victim sustained injuries to her neck and forehead requiring treatment at Sally Mugabe Hospital.
Victims 12 and 13: A 28-year-old woman from Dzivarasekwa 2 was going into the city with her friend when they flagged down a Toyota Wish at Oriel Girls High School at around 11.45AM on August 6.
The court heard that as they drove into town, one of the men who was seated in the front jumped into the back seat and began assaulting the women while ordering them to remove their clothes. He then instructed them to insert their fingers in their privates.
The two women were robbed of US$93, a hair blower, braids and an ID card.
The vehicle developed a puncture and the two women had their hands and legs tied as the men replaced the tyre. They then drove into a bushy area where the two women were dumped. Their clothes were tossed through the window as the vehicle sped off. The NPA did not say if the second woman is pressing charges.
Victims 14 and 15: The 23-year-old woman and her sister boarded a silver Toyota Wish at around 10AM on August 7 at corner Pomona Road and First Giraffe intending to go to town. There were three men in the car.
When they got to Groombridge shops, one of the men jumped from his seat at the front and covered one of the women’s faces with his hand while sticking a knife to her neck. A second man who was all along seating next to the sisters pointed a pistol at them before robbing them of an iPhone 6 Plus, Huawei P9 Lite, Itel Pro phone, Vivo phone, US$80 cash, a jacket and a BancABC bank card.
The man who was armed with a gun, the court heard, fondled one of the women’s breasts while also touching her privates. The women were dumped roadside and the vehicle sped off.
Victim 16: Just an hour after the incident with victims 14 and 15, the NPA says the Toyota Wish gave a lift to a 22-year-old woman from Borrowdale.
As the vehicle made its way towards the city centre on Caricrechy Way, Borrowdale, one of the three male occupants left his seat at the front and went to the back where he began punching the victim, assisted by a second man who was next to her. They searched her and robbed her of a Samsung A11 phone and a wig. They pushed her off the vehicle.
Police arranged a formal identification parade on August 17 where she positively identified Muropa as one of her attackers.
Victim 17: On August 10, the 21-year-old woman from Eastlea was standing roadside waiting for transport to go to her workplace in Kamfinsa when a Toyota Wish with three men pulled up.
The woman told police she refused to board, but one of the men got off the vehicle, grabbed her and threw her in the car which sped off. She was allegedly sprayed with an unknown substance in her face.
One of the men ordered her to surrender all her belongings and also give them the password to her phone. They took her Huawei mobile phone, a laptop bag and US$10. They also forced her to remove her clothes.
She was dumped in the bushes and her clothes thrown at her as the vehicle sped off.
Victim 18: An 18-year-old woman from Kenzamba in Makonde was waiting for transport to Chinhoyi at a Trek service station opposite Harare Gardens when the Toyota Wish pulled up with three men inside.
When the vehicle passed Parirenyatwa Hospital, the driver turned left and stopped, telling the woman that he had reached his destination. They robbed her of US$20 and a mobile phone. She was pushed out of the vehicle with her bags.
Victim 19: The 23-year-old woman accompanied by her 3-year-old niece boarded a Toyota Wish at Mufakose High School intending to go home to Buririro 5 Extension at around midday on August 13. There were two men in the vehicle.
She told investigators that as they drove, the men proposed love to her but she turned down their advances. When they reached CABS houses, Muropa allegedly put his hand on her mouth and robbed her of a handbag and Itel A56 phone.
The vehicle then went off-road and the driver came to stop at an open space. The driver ordered the woman to remove her clothes and when she resisted, Muropa allegedly pulled a knife and threatened to stab her, forcing her to comply. The driver r***d the woman once without protection. They drove a short distance and dumped the woman and her niece.
Victim 20: On August 15, a 17-year-old woman from Highlands was going to Hillside when a silver Toyota Wish stopped for her at Cunningham bus stop at around midday. The vehicle had three men.
The woman, who picked out Muropa at an identification parade, told investigators that she was blindfolded with a piece of cloth. The driver stopped the vehicle at the corner of Harare Drive and Falcon Road in Hatfield and they searched her. They took her Itel phone.
Muropa, who was driving, allegedly left his seat and came to the back where he r***d the woman once. They dumped her along Harare Drive.
Victim 21: A 38-year-old woman from Mandara was waiting at the corner of Pringle and Harare Drive when a silver Toyota Wish stopped for her on August 16 at around 11AM.
Just 800 meters into the journey, one of the men pulled out a knife and ordered the woman to handover her belongings. When she screamed, the driver pointed a gun at her and told her to comply. They robbed her of an iPhone 6 and US$20 before dumping her at The Grange.
The NPA has charged Muropa with money laundering, accusing him of buying a blue Audi A4 with proceeds of crime. The car, with registration AFA 0272, has been seized by police.
He is also charged with impersonating a soldier after he was found in possession of a Military Police ID card with the name of Thilli Adnico and a Zimbabwe National Army ID card bearing the name of Pride N Elate Mutembedza.
He further led police to the recovery of an expired Legal Practice Certificate ID card for Norman Chimuka which he allegedly used to pose as a lawyer.
Police have also seized the Toyota Wish whose owner, Shephered Chitege, 26, of Kuwadzana 1, said he gave it to Muropa and his accomplices to use as a pirate taxi. In the vehicle police found a baton stick, Nokia N11, a vehicle plate ADK 4174 and three Covid-19 vaccination cards.
In police interviews, Muropa named Author Kudzai Sithole and a Trymore as his accomplices.
Muropa is represented by Tinashe Mbala.
*📰Husband Of The Late 14-year-old Memory Machaya Arrested*
The “husband” of Memory Machaya, a 14-year-old girl who died on 15 July during childbirth at a Johanne Marange Apostolic Church shrine has been arrested for having s*x with a minor.
ZimLive reports that Evans Momberume is set to appear at the Mutare Magistrates Court on Thursday following his arrest in the eastern border town on Wednesday.
Memory's death caused an outcry, with the United Nations condemning the prevalence of child marriages in Zimbabwe especially within white garment churches.
Johanne Marange Apostolic Church, however, said it has always preached against child marriages.
Law enforcement sources said Momberume, who had escaped police after abruptly leaving the shrine, was arrested by detectives from the Criminal Investigations Department’s Homicide Division.
If convicted of having s*xual in*******se or performing indecent acts with a young person, Momberume will be sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Memory was forced to drop out of school in Mhondoro while in Form 1 after she was married off to Momberume, who is believed to be in his mid-to-late-twenties.
According to Memory’s mother and aunt, she was buried inside the shrine two hours after her death, but the church’s leaders have denied this.
Memory’s mother said she was blocked from witnessing her burial and banished from the church for “causing trouble”. Investigators are still searching for her burial site.
Zimbabwe has two sets of marriage laws, the Marriage Act and Customary Marriages Act. Neither law gives a minimum age for marriage consent, while the customary law allows polygamy.
A new marriages bill that is before parliament for debate seeks to synchronise the laws, ban the marriage of anyone below 18 years and prosecute anyone involved in the marriage of a minor.
The government was blamed for “condoning” child marriages since it has for years ignored the reports.
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