TWO suspected vehicle thieves have been nabbed on allegations of stealing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office minibus before stripping its parts for sale.
Lameck Phiri and Last Chinamasa are further accused of engaging in vehicles thieving in the capital before stripping them of parts in the outskirts and selling them.
The two were not asked to plead to three counts of vehicle theft when they appeared before a Harare magistrate.
It is alleged that on March 17 at around 2100 hours, Obey Mbofana was driving a Toyota Quantum which belongs to the Office of the President and Cabinet.
Reports are that Mbofana stopped to buy sneakers from street vendors at the corner of Park Street and Nelson Mandela and got off the vehicle to fit the shoes.
He reportedly left the keys on the ignition while the engine was idling and went to the pavement where he was fitting the shoes and negotiating prices.
It is alleged that the two took advantage of the laxity and got into the vehicle and drove off at high speed.
Mbofana allegedly heard the sound of a skidding vehicle and turned his back to check only to see his vehicle being driven away at a high speed.
He reportedly tried to chase after the car in which he had left his cellphone but the suspects changed direction and drove at high speed.
The court heard that on March 29 detectives from CID Vehicle Theft Squad Harare received information that one Cryonce Kasenga from Mbare was in possession of Mbofana’s cellphone.
Kasenga reportedly indicated that he bought the cellphone from Phiri who then implicated Chinamasa, from whom the car keys were recovered.
The cops reportedly recovered a 12 volts battery and a starter which were stripped from the stolen Toyota Quantum.
It is also alleged that Chinamasa led detectives to Zinanga village in Seke where his father Simon Chinamasa was located and indicated that the stolen vehicle which was parked at his homestead was brought by his son.
They also discovered that the engine, gear box, battery, starter and number plates were removed from the motor vehicle and the suspects led to some of the wares.
The two are also facing two other counts of stealing a Toyota Runx and a Honda Fit in the capital.
Phiri is also facing a separate charge of vehicle theft after he allegedly disappeared with a Honda Fit while the owner was in a restaurant.