Cases of prostitutes robbing their clients or conniving with robbers to do the same are on the rise in the Avenues in Harare and the courts cannot turn a blind eye to such vices, a Harare magistrate said yesterday. Mr Tendai Mahwe said this while sentencing a robber, Vincent Zichawu, who connived with three prostitutes to rob one of her clients of $32 at knife-point to an effective four years in jail.
Mr Mahwe sentenced Zichawu to five years in prison but suspended six months on condition he pays back the money. A further six months were set aside on condition of good behaviour. His three accomplices are still on the run.
The complainant (24) was walking along Central Avenue when he was approached by a commercial sex worker who offered him sex for a fee. She then took him to her flat. When they got to her room, there were other people inside including Zichawu who posed as a client of one of the other women.
Some of the women left the room and Zichawu together with two other prostitutes, one identified as Chipo, went into the toilet leaving the complainant and the other prostitute in the room.
After the act, Chipo shouted from the bathroom enquiring if the two had finished and they came out. Chipo asked the complainant how much he had paid their colleague and he told her that he had paid $2. Chipo started shouting at him saying it was not enough since the fee was $10.
The gang demanded more money from the complainant who then paid an additional $5 but they continued pestering him for more money. They told him that he should also buy food for them and pay for the room they had used. Zichawu suddenly produced a knife and demanded that the complainant deposit money to his EcoCash account while threatening to stab him.
The complaint deposited $10 into Zichawu’s EcoCash account. The gang searched his bag and stole $15 before ordering him to leave the room. The complainant begged them for bus fare after which he was given $1.
In a similar case, two other prostitutes from Kennedine Court along Central Avenue in Harare who robbed their colleague’s client of $107, escaped jail by a whisker after Mr Mahwe suspended part of their jail term on condition they perform 210 hours of community service.
Portia Damba (19) and Theodola Chamabu (24) robbed 52-year-old Edmore Kanjere who had hired their colleague, only identified as Mercy, for sexual services. The pair manhandled the man and ordered him to surrender all the money on him.
Damba and Chamabu were sentenced to 18 months in prison. But six months were set aside on condition of restitution while a further six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour. The remaining six months were set aside on condition they perfom 210 hours community service.
Meanwhile, magistrate Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe yesterday dismissed an application by a Harare prostitute, Melody Hamandawana, for discharge at the close of the State’s case and will put her to her defence since she had in her possession property belonging to the complainant, a Gokwe magistrate, reports Prosper Dembedza.
In his ruling, Mr Chikwekwe said the court was still had doubts on whether Hamandawana committed the robbery she is being charged with. He said Hamandawana was supposed to explain how the property ended up in her hands. Hamandawana stands accused of robbing Gokwe magistrate Shepherd Munjanja of his cash and valuables worth $330.
In her defence, Hamandawana said Mr Munjanja was her client when she stayed at Fintra Court, Harare, and he had her phone number. She claimed she never robbed Mr Munjanja of his valuables but it was he who the one who voluntarily handed them over to her as they were going to the bank.
Hamandawana, in her defence, told the court that she was ready to bring her fellow hooker whom she only identified as Chipo as her witness. Mr Chikwekwe ordered Hamandawana to bring her witness tomorrow for continuation of the trial.
Procecutor Ms Venencia Mutake alleged that on October 26 this year, Mr Munjanja was approached by a man who claimed to have a tyre and rim for sale. It is alleged the man lured Mr Munjanja to Trecarrel Court in Central Avenue.
The flat is used as a brothel, but the man lied to Mr Munjanja that he had offices there. The man allegedly shoved Mr Munjanja into a room where Hamandawana and two other women were waiting. Hamandawana and her accomplices reportedly assaulted Mr Munjanja, accusing him of raping one of them the last time he had visited the brothel.
They went on to steal $156, bank cards, fuel coupons worth $179, a driver’s licence, car keys and a notepad, it is alleged.