‘Serial fraudster’ whose victims include his mother busted after posing with stolen bicycle

HARARE – A serial fraudster was busted after he posted a picture of himself on social media riding a stolen bicycle.

When Innocent Nyabango was arrested, police discovered the picture was taken using a stolen Samsung phone.

Police have so far located TWENTY victims, among them his mother and the former footballer, Evans Gwekwerere.

Nyabango was arrested last week and remanded in custody to January 27 as police race to record statements from his nearly two-dozen victims.

Speaking outside court, his mother Ennia Nyabango said: “I really don’t know how I can help my son. For years he has been moving around stealing from people. He stole two cellphones from me, and they were never recovered.

“I don’t know, maybe it’s a curse from his father’s family, maybe they want to fix me.”

The Harare Magistrates Court heard that Nyabango’s victims are so many they have created a WhatsApp group to map his one-man crime wave.

Nyabango once worked for the musician Freeman but was arrested last July, accused of stealing a phone from Tatenda Mujuru, an upcoming singer.

In October last year, Tichaona Vengesa said Nyabango stole his bicycle and a Samsung A20 in Waterfalls.

Nyabango later posted a picture of himself with the bicycle on Instagram. Police later found the same picture on the recovered phone, proving he used the stolen Samsung to snap himself.

Gwekwerere, the court heard, was approached by Nyabango who asked to use his phone to call a man who was supposed to deliver some money.

Gwekwere said he had US$136 at the back of the phone contained in the pouch.

“He ran away with the phone, and the money,” Gwekwerere said.

Actor and emcee Patrick Muzvondiwa said Nyabango asked to make a call using his phone. He not only stole the Samsung Note 10 but he also took Muzvondiwa’s backpack while he was not looking. He was allegedly still carrying the backpack at the time of his arrest.

Tichaona Mashingaidze, another victim, said Nyabango took US$140 from him on the promise of delivering a bale of second-hand clothes only to disappear.

Aaron Nyambuya, who lives in South Africa, said Nyabango defrauded him of R2,500.

Emilia Chikwaira said Nyabango sped off with her Itel phone after requesting to make a call.

Police asked for more time to record witness statements from more victims. They expect the list of complainants to grow.

Nyabango was not asked to plead.

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