HARARE – A prison escapee accused of robbing and raping at least 21 women has been recaptured after stealing a car, police said on Wednesday.
Sam Muropa, 31, broke free from Harare Remand Prison on October 1, it is claimed after he scaled a security wall.
Incredibly, prison authorities did not report the escape to police until October 3. Even then, the public was not informed of a dangerous prisoner on the loose until his escape was reported by online tabloid ZimLive.
In a statement, police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “On October 5, 2021, detectives received information that the suspect was driving an unregistered Toyota Wish searching for a team to commit further robberies.
“The detectives acted on the information and arrested the suspect in Kuwadzana area in Harare.”
Nyathi said Muropa stole the vehicle from one Bruce Muponza after pretending to hire it for a short trip to a place called White House, on the highway to Bulawayo from Harare.
Several prison officers are reportedly being investigated for abetting Muropa’s escape, which was discovered at around 4.30PM on October 1.
Muropa was arrested in August and charged with 19 counts of robbery, six counts of rape, one count of aggravated indecent assault, three counts of indecent assault, one count of money laundering and one count of impersonating an officer after allegedly posing as a soldier to commit a spate of crimes in Harare.
A court heard how Muropa drove around Harare in an unmarked Toyota Wish vehicle picking up female hitchhikers before robbing and raping some.
Three victims were also robbed of their Covid-19 vaccination cards, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) charged.
Prosecutors said police were following other leads and the list of his crimes was likely to grow beyond the 21 victims so far identified. All were attacked between July and August this year.
Muropa has been dubbed Zimbabwe’s most prolific serial rape suspect, and new information suggests he has been committing crimes against women since 2019.
In police interviews, Muropa named Author Kudzai Sithole and a Trymore as his accomplices. Both men are still on the run.