21-year-old Engineering undergraduate bags 35-year jail sentence for funding his flashy lifestyle through robbery

Lenny Ryan Mupande, a 21-year-old engineering student from Bulawayo Polytechnic, has received a 35-year prison sentence for his involvement in a series of armed robberies across Zimbabwe.

This article explores the motives behind his criminal actions and the impact on his life.

The Allure of Social Media and Peer Pressure:

Mupande and his accomplice, Bezel Chirova, admitted that their crimes were driven by societal pressures and the desire to emulate the extravagant lifestyles of celebrities and influencers on social media platforms.

Details of the Robberies:

Mupande’s criminal activities involved several high-profile robberies, including thefts from various businesses, such as Mukuru, Chicken Inn drive-through, Athens Supermarket, and Tottengram Investments.

Expressions of Remorse:

During the court proceedings, Mupande expressed remorse for his actions, attributing his involvement in armed robberies to peer pressure and a desire to mimic the ostentatious lives of his well-off peers and social media influencers.

Influence and Coercion:

In contrast, Bezel Chirova maintained that he was coerced into participating in these criminal activities by Mupande.

He claimed that it was not his intention to commit these crimes and that he was pressured into joining the criminal plan.

The Impact on Two Lives:

The article highlights the tragic consequences of these crimes, which have drastically altered the trajectories of Mupande and Chirova’s lives, sending one to prison and the other claiming coercion.