By Patrick Chitumba
A 33-year-old man who went on a housebreaking spree in Shuruguwi town and stole property worth $5 000, has been sentenced to 72 years in prison.
The accused was released on amnesty in May.
Broadwell Mudavanhu alias Thabani Sibanda, of Sithole Village in Masvingo, broke into 36 houses between June 18 and this month.
He was convicted of 36 counts of unlawful entry and 36 counts of theft by Shurugwi magistrate Mrs Evia Matura on Wednesday.
Mrs Matura sentenced him to one year imprisonment for each count meaning he will serve an effective 72 years in prison.
Mudavanhu who stole property which included electrical gadgets such as laptops and cellphones, said he learnt the skill of housebreaking from hardcore criminals he shared cells with while in prison.
“I know that I’m a repeat offender but I’m appealing to the court to be lenient with me,” said Mudavanhu.
In response the magistrate said: “You are a repeat offender and must be given a stiffer penalty to deter would be offenders.”
Prosecutor, Mr Pride Gomera, said from June 18 to December 2 this year, Mudavanhu broke into 36 houses in Shurugwi and stole property that included laptops and cellphones which he later sold in Gweru.
“On June 28 during the night, Mudavanhu proceeded to a house in Makusha, Shurugwi, and opened a window using a hard plastic and got inside the house. He stole a laptop and left.
Using the same modus operandi he broke into 35 other houses and stole various gadgets valued at about $5 000,” he said.
He said Mudavanhu was arrested on December 3. Chronicle