Three men charged with stealing an iPhone 6 belonging to president Mugabe’s youngest son Bellarmine Chatunga Mugabe, appeared before Harare magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe on Monday.
The suspects are Victor Josam (26), Tendai Makambaire (30) and Kelvin Mwandayi (27).
However, the suspects pleaded not guilty to the charges, after which they were granted $100 bail each. The court court was told that the phone valued at $1,500.
Making his defence speech, Josam said he did not steal the iPhone, but bought the phone from someone else.
Answering through his lawyer Mr Arthur Gurira, Makambaire told the court that he never stole the iPhone 6. He maintained that he bought it from Josam.
Mwandayi on his own part claimed that he bought the iPhone 6 from Makambaire.
Before the trio were discharged, Prosecutor Venencia Mutake kicked against granting them bail. Mutake maintained that if the trio are granted bail, they may likely abscond since they are unemployed. However, Magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe countered the motion and argued that unemployment should not be used as a yardstick to refusing them bail. The Magistrate also argued that if murderers are granted bail, why won’t the three persons charged with phone theft be granted bail.
Also, Makambaire’s lawyer, Mr Arthur Gurira said “my client is a proper candidate for bail and he has no previous convictions, and is not likely to abscond.”
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Reiterating why the trio are free to apply for bail, Chikwekwe ruled, “the three are proper candidates for bail and should pay $100 bail each.” The court also ordered the accused parsons to return to court on 7th March, to continue to reside at their given residences as part of their bail condition. and not to interfere with witnesses.
Reports said the crime was committed on 7th November 2015 when the suspects, together with a friend, attended a function at St John’s College in Borrowdale. While at the function, Chatunga handed the iPhone to his friend Honour Mukudzei Rwodzi and left the premises to ease himself.
It was allegedly at that point that the suspects accosted Rwodzi and claimed they were sent by Chatunga to collect his IPhone. Rwodi, unsuspectingly handed the phone to the miscreants who disappeared into the crowd.
Chatunga was said to have reported the case to the police station. Police detectives gathered information and the trio were later arrested and the phone recovered.