Armed robbers found guilty… sentencing today Lenny Ryan Mupande (right) and Bezel Chirova

Peter Matika, [email protected]

TWO armed robbers who committed a series of heists around Bulawayo, targeting money and food outlets, and a supermarket, have pleaded guilty to the crimes and will be sentenced today.

Lenny Ryan Mupande (21) from Entumbane and Bezel Chirova (21) of Njube suburb in Bulawayo appeared in court yesterday.

They did not waste time and pleaded guilty to charges of theft, attempted robbery, and armed robbery, respectively.

The duo was not represented and appeared before magistrate Mr Elijah Singano, who said the case would proceed for sentencing today.

Mupande is facing five counts, while Chirova is facing two counts of the crimes.

Among the crimes, Mupande is being charged with theft of a motor vehicle, which they used to commit offenses around the city.

Presenting the case for the state, Miss Siphiwe Mhlanga said the pair was arrested last week on different occasions and have been assisting police with investigations.

“On 31 August this year in Entumbane, Mupande stole a Honda Fit vehicle that was parked at a car park in the suburb,” she said.

“In the vehicle was US$25, the complainant’s license and identification particulars. This is the vehicle they used to commit a spate of their armed robberies that include the constant terrorizing of Simbisa Drive Through along Hillside Road,” said Miss Mhlanga.

“On 30 June at Athens Supermarket in Cowdray Park suburb the two armed themselves with an air pistol and a knife with the intention to rob the supermarket. They then robbed the security guard of a phone, button stick, and other valuables.”

On September 19 Mupande proceeded to a house in Entumbane and robbed a family of US$1 850.

“On September 22 they robbed a Mukuru outlet housed at a shopping complex at Entumbane. They got away with ZAR13 390,” said Miss Mhlanga.

She said Mupande and Chirova on October 20 robbed Simbisa Chicken Inn Drive-Through situated next to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.

“On the first occasion, the robbery failed as they could not gain access to the safe. They then returned to the outlet on April 29 and robbed the place of US$6 880, destroyed the CCTV, and made off,” said Miss Mhlanga.

She said on October 20 they returned to the outlet and robbed workers of their phones and the company’s US$998.66.

In one of the incidents Mupande and Chirova were chased by residents and the neighborhood surveillance team after they broke into Athens.

They used the stolen Honda Fit, which they lost control of and drove into a ditch. They then abandoned the vehicle and continued with their escape on foot.

The duo ran out of luck after police managed to identify their pattern of operation, in which they constantly robbed A Simbisa food outlet


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