The driver of Zimbabwe’s president has been hauled before a Harare magistrate for stealing a cell phone belonging to his boss, New Zimbabwe reports. Chamunorwa Tapa, 45, appeared before the court Tuesday facing theft charges. He was arrested on March 23 whilst at State House.
Emmerson Mnangagwa received the Itel A 56 cellphone as a gift after presiding over a field day at his farm in a Zimbabwean town of Kwekwe on March 12, prosecutors told the court.
However, the gadget which is valued at $100 was detected missing following reconciliation of the gifts Mnangagwa received during his visit to the farm by his security detail.
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A series of investigations led to Tapa, who admitted stealing the cellphone which he gave to his son.
An employee of the office of the president, named Simbarashe Mangezi, New Zimbabwe reports was the complainant in the case on behalf of President Mnangagwa.
The complaint filed in court read in parts: “On March 13 and at Zimbabwe House, in Harare during reconciliation of the gifts, it was discovered that the cell phone together with its charger and earphones was missing leading to an investigation.
“The accused then led police detectives to the recovery of the stolen cell phone from his son Jonathan Magaya at house number 52 Dumukwa Street, New Mabvuku, Harare.”
Mnangagwa was sworn in as president of Zimbabwe in November 2017. Before Mugabe resigned, his ruling party ZANU-PF had already replaced him with the embattled VP Mnangagwa as its president. Mnangagwa returned from exile and sworn in as the new President of Zimbabwe.
Mnangagwa commonly referred to as the “Crocodile” for his callousness during the Rhodesian Bush War against the British colonial government, has been a longtime ally of Mugabe, serving as the first vice-president of Zimbabwe since 2014. He has also served in numerous ministerial dockets, including Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Defense, Rural Housing and Social Amenities, among others.
At the age of 21, Mnangagwa was imprisoned by the colonial government for 10 years after he confessed to blowing up the Fort Victoria railway locomotive.
Upon his release and after spending a few years practicing law in Zambia, he migrated to neighboring Mozambique, where he, alongside Robert Mugabe, participated in the Mozambican War of Independence against the Portuguese administration.
Mnangagwa was part of the team that formed the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), which went on to win independence for Zimbabwe in 1980. He was also part of the team that negotiated with Britain for independence.