A crafty Masvingo man enriched himself by stealing thousands of dollars worth of property using one modus operandi in which he dated a sex worker, studied her home environment before coming back as a thief.
Athanas Manyoka (49) was sentenced to five years in prison by Magistrate Perseverance Makala after he was convicted on 21 counts of stealing from 14 sex workers. The Mirror understands that there are still two more cases involving two sex workers that are still to come to court.
Court Number 4 at Masvingo Magistrates Court was last week packed with sex workers; both victims and sympathizers who prayed for Manyoka’s incarceration.
Mucheke which probably houses Masvingo’s largest population of sex workers was shaken to the core as sex workers made a beeline to Chikato Police Station to identify their belongings among the recovered property.
Stolen property includes mobile phones, clothes, washing baskets, blankets, comforters and buckets.
He stole from many parts of the sprawling Mucheke Suburb including; Sisk, R, Old Railways and Aphiri and he kept the stolen loot with his ex-wife Dambudzo Mayati (29) who is also a sex worker.
The cunning Manyoka used one method in which he hired a sex worker from a night club, took her to her lodgings for short time. After the short time, the two would go back to the bar but Manyoka would make a u-turn and return to the same place to steal.
His reign of terror went on for a long time leaving sex workers baffled as the style used seemed to be targeting sex workers only.
Precilla Wuta represented the State.
Manyoka’s luck ran out when Grace Masundira (21) a sex worker who is one of his victim met Manyoka’s sisters-in-law (ex-wife Mayati’s sisters), Svodai Mayati and Alice Mahona wearing her stolen clothes and she made a Police report.
Some of the victims are Sarah Chiseva, Ashley Chiradza (26), Sabina Masibera (23), Panashe Matimba (21), Elizabeth Mamhundu (38), Charity Zulu (29), Pertunia Mlambo (26), Patience Tikidze (26), Florence Manjengwa(23), Florence Shashu(32), Tendai Chindaza (20) and Precious Wezvo (25).