A male Zimbabwean teenager who allegedly stole a vehicle at Marobela village in Botswana before attempting to smuggle it into Zimbabwe through an undesignated point has been remanded in custody in the neighbouring country.
Nqobile Siziba (18) has since appeared in court facing charges of stealing a double cab Nissan vehicle before attempting to smuggle it into Zimbabwe last month.
However, the vehicle got stuck in a river.
A Francistown Magistrates Court heard that on October 11, Siziba stole the vehicle belonging to Mothusi April and illegally crossed into Zimbabwe at night.
In Zimbabwe, he attempted to cross a river, but the vehicle got stuck in the sand.
A curious passerby then called the police and on arrival at the scene, Siziba fled back to Botswana.
However, he was arrested on October 14.
The investigating police officer in Botswana, Meshack Mosika, pleaded with the court to remand Siziba in custody as investigations were still underway.
“The accused was only arrested on the 14th at night as a suspect for stealing a car. He does not have any travelling documents nor a permanent place of abode here in Botswana,” Mosika told the court.
“The motor vehicle in question is at a Zimbabwe police station and we have since requested Interpol in Gaborone to facilitate the repatriation of the vehicle.”
Mosika added he had liaised with police in Harare who said the process will take some time adding he also needed to travel to Zimbabwe to record statements from the officers who recovered the motor vehicle.
“I, therefore, believe the accused is a flight risk and should he be granted bail he is unlikely to adhere to any bail conditions more so that the charge he is facing is a very serious one,” Mosika said.
Siziba was also charged with entering Botswana illegally.
He told the court he did not steal the car, but took it without the owner’s permission and unfortunately got arrested.
“The next morning I called him to tell him that I was sorry. I then went to his wife so that we could go to the police as the owner of the car is in Gaborone,” he said.
Siziba’s defence, however, did not convince the magistrate as he remanded him in custody pending police investigations.