Engineering Student Sentenced to 35 Years for Armed Robberies in Zimbabwe
A 21-year-old engineering student, Lenny Ryan Mupande, hailing from Bulawayo Polytechnic, has been handed a 35-year prison sentence for his role in a string of armed robberies that unfolded across Zimbabwe.
Mupande and his partner-in-crime, Bezel Chirova, openly admitted that societal pressures and the allure of mimicking the lavish lifestyles flaunted by celebrities and social media influencers were the driving factors behind their criminal exploits.
Mupande’s criminal spree encompassed the theft of ZAR13,390 from Mukuru, two iPhone 7s, $998.66 from Chicken Inn drive-through, a mobile phone, handcuffs, and a baton stick from Athens Supermarket in Cowdray Park, as well as $1,850 from Tottengram Investments, a registered money agency.
Mupande expressed sincere regret for his actions in front of the judge, attributing them to peer pressure and a desire to imitate the ostentatious lifestyles of his well-off peers and social media influencers.
“I committed the crimes because of peer pressure. I was envious of the lives of my peers and the lives of social media influencers. I wanted to be like them, I wanted to mimic their lives, the food they ate, their dressing, and the drinks they enjoyed.”
“It was not my intention to commit these crimes. It was Mupande who pressured me into committing these crimes. He was persistent in getting me to be part of his plan,” Chirova added.