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Suspected juvenile arsonist arrested in connection to Pumula fires

A 13 year old boy from Pumula suburb has been arrested for allegedly breaking into, looting and setting ablaze three shops in the suburb on Monday last week at the height of the violent protests that rocked the city.

The juvenile (name withheld for ethical reasons) was arraigned before magistrate Sibongile Msipa-Marondedze facing three counts of public violence.

He was remanded out of custody to tomorrow (Wednesday).

The juvenile is represented by Tinashe Runganga of Tanaka Law Chambers.

The court heard property worth more than $100 000 was destroyed and stolen from two supermarkets and a pharmacy at the shopping centre.

Prosecuting, Simbarashe Manyiwa said the juvenile who was part of a mob proceeded to Pumula shopping centre where they wreaked havoc between 11PM and midnight.

“Accused person was identified by one Vuyo Ndlovu who informed Antony Chikwata. The juvenile, together with accomplices who are still at large, armed themselves with stones they used to throw at civilians as well as break into Pumula Old supermarket. They went into the supermarket where they stole grocery and stationery worth $21 000 and set the shop ablaze destroying property worth $36 000,” said Manyiwa.

Manyiwa said the juvenile and his accomplices proceeded to break into a pharmacy where they allegedly stole computer sets, dispensary drugs, office chairs, thermal printers and cosmetics causing damage worth over $50 000.

“Accused person and his accomplices went to another supermarket where they stole various groceries, set the shop on fire and fled the scene,” he said.

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