By Michelle Gwizi
A GRADE Seven pupil at a Bulawayo school has been arrested for eight counts of unlawful entry and theft and has blamed a romp with a 64 year old woman for his actions.
The pupil who cannot be named for ethical reasons resides in Mzilikazi suburb and was allegedly stealing groceries and money to give Gladys Sibanda who is his neighbour.
Although sources alleged there was a sexual relationship between the two, the police are yet to get evidence to prove it.
The boy is alleged to have stolen R9 500, P1 050, $249, $31 in bond notes and coins and some groceries with only $68 being recovered.
The boy is accused of systematically committing the crimes between July and September this year.
The case was brought to light when Ms Fadzai Makanyangi (31) who was one of the boy’s victims reported a case of theft to the police.
Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele confirmed the case saying both the boy and the old woman will appear in court soon.
The Chronicle yesterday caught up with the teen’s mother who expressed shock that Sibanda used her son to commit crimes.
“I grew up living with Ms Sibanda, I respected her as mother figure. I least expected that she would do this to me. I remember she said my son was adorable not knowing that her intentions were to use him like this,” said the boy’s mother who seemed traumatised by the case.
“I suspect she even used him for rituals as my son went on to give another neighbour some herbs as medication for stomach aches. When l asked him where he got the herbs he indicated that ugogo MaSibanda gave him when he had a stomach ache and he was healed.”
The boy is alleged to have implicated Sibanda after his mother bashed him for stealing.
Sibanda denied sending the child to steal but claimed she only received a few gifts from the boy.
“I only received R10 and mealie-meal as a present from the boy,” she told The Chronicle yesterday.
She declined to give further details on why she accepted gifts from a child who normally should be incapable of even providing for himself.
Asst Insp Msebele said the case had been taken to court but prosecutors argued that it should be brought before a magistrate with Sibanda as an accomplice.
“Between July and September the boy had been stealing groceries and money from his neighbours. It appears he did so after knocking off from school.
“He would give or sell the goods to the old woman whose docket is being opened and is being charged for theft charges as an accomplice to the crime,” she said.
Asst Insp Msebele said police have not established if Sibanda had physically abused the teenager.
“What we know is that the two claimed that their links were caused by their political interactions. We are told that he boy claimed that he was the Child President,” said Asst Insp Msebele.
She said police are finalising investigations but urged residents to increase security in their homes.
“They should lock their doors and if ever they will be leaving their keys, they should leave them with trustworthy people. Parents should also closely monitor the activities of their children as this can protect them from being involved in criminal activities that will land them in trouble,” she said. The Chronicle