ZIMBABWE – Former deputy prime minister Professor Arthur Mutambara’s bodyguard masqueraded as a Government employee while in possession of an air-gun tucked in a pistol holster.
Tulani Hlupo (34) was yesterday convicted by Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo of possessing articles for criminal use.
Mr Makomo said he was convinced the air-gun was being used for criminal offences.
Mr Makomo sentenced Hlupo to 12 months in prison before suspending three months for five years on condition of good behaviour.
He will serve an effective nine months.
In passing sentence, Mr Makomo said Hlupo showed no remorse and had started committing crime at the deep end.
“Although you are a first offender, you started committing criminal offences at the deep end.”
“You did not show remorse and gave three conflicting versions of what transpired.”
“The State was correct to say the air-gun was used for criminal offences. Your explanation that you bought the air-gun for your two-year-old child is misleading,” he said.
Prosecutor Ms Francesca Mukumbiri told the court that on August 20 this year, CID Homicide Harare detectives received a tip-off that Hlupo was moving around with a firearm.
Hlupo was also in possession of a Government identity card, which he was using to gain access to Government institutions posing as a member of the State security agency.
Two days later, Hlupo assaulted a person at his friend’s home, whose address was given as No. 37 Nhanga Road, Chitungwiza, and was arrested by St Mary’s police.
The court heard that Hlupo revealed that he was in possession of a BB air-gun and two pistol holsters, which he had hidden at Livemore Mavula’s house on the day of his arrest.
Detectives recovered the Taurus BB air-gun from Mavula’s house well secured in a pistol holster.
Hlupo led to the recovery of another pistol holster hidden in his Isuzu KB vehicle parked at Mavula’s house.
Detectives searched Hlupo and found a Government employee card.
Hlupo failed to give a satisfactory answer and was arrested.
Meanwhile, in a separate case, a suspected con-woman allegedly used Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa’s name in a fraud case, writes Fungai Lupande.
This emerged when the trial of Cordelia Warambwa (24) failed to start.
Warambwa appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Victoria Mashamba, who removed her from remand following the State’s failure to proceed with trial.
In refusing further remand for Warambwa, Ms Mashamba said the State was not serious and their house was not in order.
“Further remand of the accused is refused and State will proceed by way of summons,” she said.
In a warned and cautioned statement recorded from Pasipanodya, he explained how Warambwa narrated her arrest.
In another statement it was alleged that Waramba was arrested by members of the Zimbabwe National Army.
The complainant in the matter was Zvavahera Groosewell Mukunyadzi (32) of Cranborne, Harare.
It was alleged that in July 2013 Warambwa approached Mukunyadzi misrepresenting that she was awarded a tender by a certain company to supply four medical machines.
She asked for a capital injection of US$10 000 promising to repay it in three days before offering two vehicles as surety..
Mukunyadzi managed to raise US$6 000 and was allegedly given a Toyota Mark II (registration number ABL 6507) and a Toyota Carina (registration number ABL 8391).
After one week Mukunyadzi was approached by Kapodogo and Felex Kuda Gondo claiming ownership of the vehicles.
Realising that he had been conned, Mukunyadzi looked for Warambwa but she had allegedly fled to South Africa.
She was later arrested and Mukunyadzi lost US$6 000 of which only US$200 was recovered.