Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
A SUSPECTED serial criminal who allegedly terrorised Victoria Falls residents and tourists for four years, breaking into houses and hotels, has been arrested at his hide-out in Zambia.
Since 2014, Bongani Moyo (38), a Zimbabwean who was staying illegally in Livingstone, at number D37 Lubuyu Compound had been allegedly crossing into Victoria Falls illegally and he would break into cars, houses and hotels. He allegedly stole cash, electrical gadgets such as TV sets, laptops, digital cameras and their accessories, cellphone handsets, clothes and other valuables running into thousands of dollars.
The court heard that Moyo also used violence and threatened to kill the victims. The total value of stolen property was not given but according to state documents, there are 27 different types of cellphone handsets, six cameras, four laptops and a bicycle among other valuables.
Moyo is facing a combined 34 counts, unlawful entry, theft, criminal trespass, robbery as well as entering and exiting Zimbabwe through an ungazetted point.
Victoria Falls magistrate, Ms Rangarirai Gakanje, remanded Moyo who was not asked to plead, in custody to next week on Wednesday. The magistrate ordered an investigation into claims by Moyo that he was severely beaten by police whom he alleged forced him to admit to the charges.
The prosecutor, Mr Listen Nare, opposed bail saying Moyo is a flight risk and can commit more crimes since he has been convicted five times before by the same court.
“The State is opposed to bail based on the fact that the accused faces charges of exiting and entering the border illegally. He was arrested in Zambia and it is our submission that bail conditions cannot surface as he can escape jurisdiction and go to Zambia or any other neighbouring country,” said Mr Nare.
He said investigations were still underway to account for some of the property that was recovered by police in Zambia.
Mr Nare said the crimes were committed between September 2014 and last week. Moyo would use unknown objects to force open doors and windows into premises, the court was told.
In the first count, Moyo illegally crossed into Victoria Falls on September 7 in 2014 and broke into a house belonging to Mr Stanfordias Ndlovu in Aerodrome suburb.
He stole a laptop, a video camera, an HTC and a Blackberry cellphone handsets all valued at $1 200.
“On October 11, 2017, complainant Danieala Elazar (27) of Eric Magalson Apartment, Jerusalem, Israel, closed his door and windows on retiring to bed.
The accused force opened the door and entered the house. The accused threatened to kill the complainant and forcibly took $1 500 and clothing valued at $1 600,” said the prosecutor.
The court was told that Moyo broke into several hotels and lodges, and stole cash and valuables from clients’ rooms.
In May last year, Moyo allegedly broke into Breeze FM premises at 220 Kingsway and stole a Samsung tablet cellphone and an iPhone 5 both valued at $700 belonging to presenter Thanduxolo Ndlovu.
Some of the victims were tourists booked at various hotels while others were mostly hotel employees whom he knew had valuables and cash, the court was told.
Moyo was traced to his hide-out in Livingstone after breaking into Zambezi Horse Trails on February 28 where he threatened to kill the owner Ms Alison Baker (61) with a knife after forcibly opening doors to her bedroom using a sharp object.
Moyo was allegedly in the company of two accomplices who are still at large when they stole cash in different currencies, a pellet gun and some valuables worth about $3 000.