Brenda Zinyuke, Court Reporter
A 13-YEAR-OLD boy from Bulawayo who was part of a gang that looted and burnt shops during violent protests in January has told a Bulawayo magistrate that he was instructed to do so by an older accomplice.
The minor, who cannot be named for ethical reasons, said his accomplice Bhekani Mpamba (29) ordered him to burn down a supermarket in Old Pumula suburb.
The minor pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful entry and theft before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Mafios Moyo.
Mpamba pleaded not guilty.
“I was not there when all this happened, accused 2’s family has issues with me because my donkey’s names are the same as theirs,” he said.
Mpamba was remanded in custody while the minor was remanded out of custody to July 24 for continuation of trial.
Prosecuting, Mr Simbarashe Manyiwa said on January 14, the duo together with other co- accused persons who are still at large went to a supermarket owned by Mr Antony Chikwata in Old Pumula at around 10PM armed with stones.
“The mob threw stones at people and broke into the shop. They took groceries and stationery before setting the shop on fire. When police officers arrived at the scene, the boy fled but was seen by one of the residents who made a report at Pumula Police Station,” he said.
The minor was brought to the police station by his mother.