By A Correspondent- A Man from Nketa 9 Suburb, Bulawayo has appeared in court charged with car theft after he allegedly hired a vehicle to take him to New Parklands where he was purportedly to meet his gold clients and later hijacked it.
Melody Shingirai Lunga (38) was denying the charge when he appeared before Bulawayo Regional magistrate Dambudzo Malunga.
Lunga was further remanded in custody to today for the continuation of trial
The court heard that sometime in October 2020 at 5pm, Agrippah Gwaringa, a Director of First Kick Investments at CSC Complex Belmont was driving his Biege Toyota vehicle from Mpopoma to Mahatshula North suburb along Luveve road to his place of residence.
He was stopped by Lunga who was in the company of Takunda Simbi. He hired Gwaringa on the pretext that he wanted to go to New Parklands to sell his gold to Nyasha Munatsi and agreed to pay a sum of US$10 for the hire upon arrival at New Parklands.
Lunga persuaded Simbi he had just met at the bus stop to accompany him where he was going and he agreed.
They drove to New Parklands where upon arrival Lunga went alone inside the yard and came back a few minutes later. He allegedly instructed Gwaringa to drive him to Gles street, Old Parklands claiming he wanted to collect his gold from Courage Bester Mkandla whom he met up with and discussed business.
Thereafter, Lunga then again instructed Gwaringa to drive him to Queens Park West, Elsley road where he said he wanted to collect his money from a friend Marcus Ali where upon arrival he went inside the yard leaving Gwaringa and Simbi inside the motor vehicle.
He came back a few minutes later and asked Gwaringa and Simbi to disembark from the car claiming he wanted to have a private conversation with Ali. The two complied and Gwaringa left his car keys at the ignition port.
The court heard that Lunga took advantage of the car keys and drove away in the company of Ali whom he dropped at Queens Park West shopping centre leaving Simbi and Gwaringa stranded.
On the same day at 9pm Lunga gave one Clancy Munetsi from Wisho road , Famona ,Bulawayo the motor vehicle and it’s ignition keys as surety after he had borrowed US$100 from him and indicated that he would pay the money back on October 26.
A Police report was made and investigations were instituted leading to the recovery of the motor vehicle from Munetsi on October 25 at Essence Building along Joshua Mqabuko Street.
On August 13 2021, Lunga was arrested by the police officers from Crime Prevention Unit, Bulawayo after a tip off.
Lunga got paralyzed and suffered from a stroke while in custody at Khami prison.-Newsday