Court date ... The seven Chinese nationals hide their faces as they arrive in court in Victoria Falls
Court date … The seven Chinese nationals hide their faces as they arrive in court in Victoria Falls

THERE was drama at the Victoria Falls magistrates’ courts on Monday afternoon when a teenage boy, recently sentenced to 11 years in jail for 18 counts of unlawful entry and theft, stormed out of a courtroom and outpaced court officials in movie style.

He was eventually captured when members of the public joined in the chase.

Zinedine Zibusiso Siziba, who recently turned 17, was last Wednesday convicted on his own plea by Victoria Falls magistrate Ms Lindiwe Maphosa.

A probation officer recommended that Zinedine be treated as an adult for purposes of sentencing as he had failed to reform.

Ms Maphosa sentenced him to 11 years in jail for the 18 counts of unlawful entry and theft .

On the first 10 counts Zinedine was sentenced to five years but two years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

He was sentenced to six years for the remaining eight counts but two years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

Ms Maphosa ordered both sentences to run concurrently meaning Zinedine will serve an effective four years in jail. He stole property worth $41 853.

On Monday Zinedine, who should be in Form Three, had been led to the courtroom where he was supposed to appear again for 36 other counts of housebreaking and theft when he ran away.

According to court sources, the boy suddenly stormed out of the courtroom leaving court officials and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) officers shocked.

He outran prison officers and members of the public before scaling a precast wall dividing the courtyard and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority premises.

He ran across Livingstone Way which leads into the town centre and scaled a perimeter fence on an open ground between the police station and OK supermarket.

He scaled another fence at the other end of the open space but ran out of luck as officers managed to apprehend him with the help of members of the public who had joined in the chase.

ZPCS Matabeleland North provincial public relations officer, Principal Correctional Officer Bothwell Bosha confirmed the incident.