A GWERU prisoner caused a stir in court on Tuesday when he threw a chair and shouted obscenities at a magistrate.
Court heard that he pretended to give lifts to women travelling between the Midlands capital, Kwekwe and Shurugwi before going on to rape and rob them of their belongings.
Martin Mabvumba, 31, had come to court for sentencing before regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire, when he stormed out of the dock, picked a chair which he threw at Nemadire.
Pretending to be a mental patient, Mabvumba also shouted obscenities at the magistrate.
Unfazed, Nemadire ordered prison officers to remove him from the court before convicting him on five counts of robbery and one count of rape in absentia.
Nemadire who combined the six charges sentenced Mambumba to 53 years but conditionally suspended 10, leaving an effective 43-year jail term
Prosecutors told the court that on July 20 last year, Mambumba gave a lift to the first victim who was travelling from Kwekwe to Gweru.
However, just after the Gweru-Kwekwe tollgate he turned off into a dust road, produced a knife and robbed the woman of her cellphone and $20 before leaving her in the bush.
During the same month he used the same method to rob five women. He raped one of the complainants and threw her bags out of the window.
Court heard that, in one of the incidences one of the women fought him while he was driving and managed to open the car doors and jumped out leaving her tablet computer and clothes.
She identified the vehicle registration number and reported the matter to police.
Police located Mabvumba’s car in Gweru, which was being driven by his nephew leading to his (Mabvumba) arrest.
The victims positively identified him. Mabvumba robbed the women of a total $1,483 and $902 was recovered.