An armed robber, who was sentenced to an effective 12 years in jail, yesterday caused a stir in court after he threatened court officials and insulted President Mugabe.

Soon after the court had adjourned, Daniel Mutema (26) stormed back into the dock from the holding cell and threatened prosecutor Mr Zivanai Makwanya with death.

He bragged that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is also the MDC-T leader, was going to rule the country and would pardon him.

“Iwewe mupfanha prosecutor ndoda kukuuraya kana ndabuda mujeri. VaTsvangirai ndivo vanenge vavekutonga next year vobva vandibuditsa. Mese muchapera (I am going to kill you once I am released from prison by Mr Tsvangirai who is going to be the president next year),” he said.

The court orderly, Constable Tracy Sekai Mukweya intervened and tried to stop Mutema from further insulting the prosecutor, but her efforts were in vain.

Mutema instead told Const Mukweya to mind her own business and accused her of being a prostitute.

He accused her of being used by President Mugabe and ZANU PF.

The armed robber further insulted President Mugabe. He was later whisked away by prison officers after wrestling with him for some minutes. Mutema is now facing a fresh charge of undermining authority of or insulting the President and will appear in court soon.

Harare regional magistrate Mr William Bhila sentenced Mutema and his accomplices Brian Juma (21) and Tatenda Nyanhemwa (21) to 12 years each in jail for armed robbery.

Mr Makwanya had called for a stiffer penalty arguing that the trio had committed a very serious offence.

“Crimes of this nature are on the increase and those targeted are taxi drivers.

“In this case they brutally assaulted the complainant and took away his belongings,” he said.

“The accused persons did not even show remorse during cross-examination. They had no mercy when they attacked him therefore they do not deserve mercy and there is no reason to suspend part of their sentence.”

On December 16 last year at around 9pm in Karoi, the trio approached Fredrick Madombiro, a taxi driver and hired him to Rydings School.

The cabman, who was in the company of three women, agreed to take Mutema and his accomplices to the school since Juma was known by two of the women.

When they were approaching the school’s main gate, Mutema ordered Madombiro to stop on the pretext they wanted to drop off and Juma suddenly grabbed him by the neck.

The three women escaped. The gang assaulted Madombiro and threatened to shoot him if he resisted.

They tied his hands with a string and took away his two mobile phones and US$1 520 cash.