A female burglar who tested freedom last year through Presidential pardon will return to prison after she was recently slapped with a 12-year jail term by a Mutare magistrate on 29 counts of unlawful entry.
Emily Gwembe (34) of House 4428 Area C, Dangamvura was convicted on her own guilty plea to all counts when she appeared before Mr Lazarus Murendo last Friday.
She was being charged for contravening Section 131 (1) as read with Section 131 (2) (a) of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.
Surprisingly, she committed most of her crimes while pregnant and when she was finally arrested and brought before the courts she had a two-week old baby. As soon as she got out of prison last year through the Presidential Amnesty, Gwembe got back to her old ways.
She duplicated keys to people’s houses and stole property in broad day light. Using the same modus operandi she pounced on many houses and in no time police in Mutare Urban District received overwhelming unlawful entry reports.
Gwembe, who was holding her baby in court, pleaded for forgiveness, saying she continued with her old habit in order to fend for her family.
Mr Murendo could have none of her pleas.He said the suspect deserved nothing else but a custodial sentence as she had proved to be an unrepentant habitual criminal who committed a series of offences soon after being released from prison last year.
“The offences you committed are of a serious nature and cannot be forgiven that easily. You pounced on unsuspecting residents and stole their valuables.
The only option is a custodial sentence as you still need to reform from your wayward ways. Your behaviour is not expected to be coming from a woman and therefore the need to warn other young ladies out there who might be seeing you as a role model,” said Mr Murendo.
Public prosecutor, Mr Fletcher Karombe, told the court that Gwembe stole property valued at more than $10 000 from 29 different houses in Dangamvura, Chikanga and Hob-house high density suburbs.
The court heard that sometime in August last year Pamela Matovanyika from Hob-house left home after locking doors to her house. The suspect came and used a duplicate key to open the main door. She gained entry and stole blankets, groceries and cash amounting to $1 210.
She disappeared without being noticed. At some instances she broke locked doors and windows using an iron bar.
“In September last year she used an iron bar to break into Tafadzwa Mandimutsira’s house in Hobhouse and stole property worth $400,” said Mr Karombe.
When asked how she executed the break-ins Gwembe said she would take time to observe her victim’s lifestyle and later steal their keys which she duplicated. With no one at home, she pounced and stole property.