‘Rogue’ soldier faces vehicle theft charge


HARARE – A soldier who allegedly stole a motor vehicle while clad in uniform before using it to ferry commuters appeared before a Harare magistrate yesterday.

The soldier, Andrew Sombi, 32, who is based at Artillery Brigade in Domboshawa, was arraigned before Harare magistrate Don Ndirowei on charges of theft of a motor vehicle.

He is jointly charged with Clive Mupfumira Makoni, 30.

The court heard that the two approached the complainant Tonderai Charakupa on October 3 at corner Leopold Takawira and Speke Avenue, in Harare at around 5pm.

Charakupa is a public transport driver and at the time the two arrived, he was loading passengers travelling to Westgate.

It is alleged the two, who were clad in army uniform, got into Charakupa’s vehicle, disguised as passengers who were also on their way to Westgate.

Makoni sat on the front passenger seat and ordered Charakupa to leave the steering wheel.

He allegedly ordered Charakupa to move over to the passenger’s seat while he took to the wheel.

Prosecutor Tungamirai Chakurira told the court Makoni ordered all the passengers in the vehicle to disembark, leaving Sombi and the vehicle driver seated.

Makoni allegedly drove towards Jason Moyo and along the way picked three men who were also dressed in army uniform together with another man who was in civilian clothes.

Along the way, they threatened to beat up Charakupa.

The court heard Charakupa took advantage of traffic congestion and jumped out of the slow-moving vehicle. He reported the matter to the police.

Makoni was arrested nine days later after he was spotted ferrying passengers from Harare’s Mabvuku suburb, while clad in army uniform.

The vehicle owner tracked Makoni and intercepted him in the city centre.

Makoni disembarked and started fleeing before he was apprehended by members of the public. – Tendai Kamhungira

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