A serial robber and rapist, Issa Siyabu, whose victims included former Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni, has finally been arrested.

Appearing before Harare magistrate Lois Makunyadze, Siyabu faced a staggering 29 counts of robbery, rape, and unlawful entry. Astonishingly, he admitted guilt to 22 of these charges during his initial appearance, with further proceedings scheduled for Thursday to record his plea.

Magistrate Makunyadze wasted no time in finding Siyabu guilty of 10 of the 29 counts before remanding him into custody. Prosecutors revealed that Siyabu’s crime spree targeted Harare’s affluent neighbourhoods, amassing over US$50,000 in stolen goods and cash from residents.

According to court documents presented by the prosecutors, Siyabu primarily targeted Harare’s low-density suburbs, preying on residents and making off with valuables and cash amounting to over US$50,000.

Among his victims, Siyabu is accused of robbing both former Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni and prominent businessman Ronald Ajara.

His modus operandi typically involved breaking into homes, threatening occupants with violence, and making off with electronics, cash, and clothing.

Following his heists, Siyabu would retreat to his base in Chegutu, only to strike again another day. In one particularly harrowing incident detailed in court documents, he robbed and raped a woman in her Mt Pleasant home after finding only US$5 in cash.

Brandishing a knife, Siyabu coerced the victim into revealing more money before raping her twice again. This pattern repeated in other cases, including a break-in at Ajara’s residence where Siyabu made off with goods worth US$5,000.

Even former Mayor Manyenyeni fell victim to Siyabu’s crimes when his Borrowdale home was burglarized, resulting in the loss of valuables and important documents totalling US$2,000.

Siyabu’s capture came after thorough police investigations and the matching of fingerprints found at crime scenes. After his arrest, Siyabu led authorities to each targeted residence, aiding in the collection of evidence against him.