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Bulawayo Poly students jailed for Chicken Inn, Mukuru robberies

by Staff reporter
02 Nov 2023 at 01:44hrs | Views
Two engineering students from Bulawayo Polytechnic who were involved in a series of robberies targeting a Mukuru outlet, two Simbisa retail outlets, and several houses in Bulawayo have been sentenced to 11 years in prison. The crimes were committed between March and September.

Lenny Ryan Mupande, a 21-year-old from Gweru, and Bezel Chirova, also 21, from Njube suburb in Bulawayo, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted armed robbery and armed robbery before Bulawayo regional magistrate Mr. Elijah Singano. They were each sentenced to 16 years in jail, with five years suspended on the condition that they do not commit a similar offense within that period.

Mupande received an additional five-year sentence for stealing a Honda Fit vehicle used in the crimes, with one year suspended under similar conditions. This resulted in an effective 15-year prison sentence for Mupande.

In their mitigation, the two students cited societal pressures and influences from their peers and social media celebrities as the reasons behind their criminal actions. They expressed envy of the flashy lifestyles displayed by social media influencers and their friends.

The court acknowledged the defendants' age, immaturity, and peer pressure as factors to consider in their sentencing but still emphasized the seriousness of their crimes. The students' admissions to their offenses contributed to the court's decision to show some leniency. Mr. Singano highlighted that their actions not only had financial repercussions for the victims but also harmed customer confidence.

Ms. Siphiwe Mhlanga represented the State in the case.

Source - The Chroncile