Codelia Mondela, Court Reporter
A 23-YEAR-OLD Bulawayo man who relieved himself in four houses that he broke into in a 12-day housebreaking spree and stole a vehicle and property worth more than $5 000, was yesterday sentenced to nine years in prison.
Taurai Jirongo of Nketa suburb pleaded guilty to four counts of unlawful entry and five counts of theft before magistrate Mr Joseph Mabeza.
Jirongo told the court that an Inyanga gave him charms to escape detection by house owners.
He said he chewed some of the umuthi and defecated just after breaking into a house to make sure the owners did not wake up no matter how much noise he made.
Stunned people in the gallery listened as he explained how he would again relieve himself in a house after stealing so that his victims would not be able to trace him.
Mr Mabeza convicted him of the nine counts of unlawful entry and theft and sentenced him to an effective six years after suspending three years on condition Jirongo is not within the next five years convicted of housebreaking and theft.
Jirongo pleaded for a lighter sentence saying that peer pressure drove him to commit the crimes.
“I stole once with my friend and after that I committed the crimes alone. If you pardon me, I will never touch any one’s property again,” he said.
Prosecuting, Mr Tinashe Dzipe said Jirongo committed the crimes between July 18 and 30 this year.
“On the night of July 18 in West Somerton, Jirongo stole from Mr Samora Masimpe Mwinde a 55 inch liquid crystal display (LCD) television set worth $700 and food from his kitchen. The TV was recovered on August 4 from Mr Decent Sibanda of Nketa who had bought it,” he said.
“He stole a Samsung J5 prime cellphone, Intel cellphone and $350 from Mr Emmanuel Mureya in West Somerton on July 26.Total value stolen was $600 and $220 was recovered,” Mr Dzipe said.
He said the Samsung J5 Prime was found in Entumbane being used by Sethi Ngwenya.
“On the night of July 28 to 29, Jirongo stole a Samsung Galaxy S5, S7, Samsung Tab 4 and a Nokia C200 from Mr Mwatse in Southwold. The Nokia C200 was discovered from Mr Innocent Moyo in Mzilikazi. Total value lost was $1 862 and $665 was recovered,” Mr Dzipe said.
“On July 29 he stole a Samsung J3 cellphone, two Sony video cameras, pair of trousers, red T-shirt, red tackies and a black T-shirt from Mr Isaac Ali in Barham Green. Jirongo then took ignition keys of a silver Honda Civic parked at Mr Ali’s house and drove the car away. Total value stolen was $2 900 and $2 880 was recovered,” he said.
“His luck ran out after the Samsung J3 Mini was recovered in Entumbane on August 3 from Mr Sipho Nkomo who had bought it and the laptop was recovered from Mr Zacks Spencer.” — @MondelaC.