A 21-year-old Bulawayo Polytechnic engineering student, Lenny Ryan Mupande, has been handed a 35-year prison sentence for a armed robbery operations he carried out in his country, Zimbabwe.
The young student who claimed he got into armed robbery due to the flashy lifestyle influenced by celebrities and influencers on social media, reportedly stole ZAR13,390 from Mukuru, two iPhone 7s and $998.66 from Chicken Inn drive-through, a cellphone, handcuffs, and a baton stick from Athens supermarket in Cowdray Park, and $1,850 from a registered money agency, Tottengram Investments.
During their appearance in court, both Mupande and his accomplice, Bezel Chirova, confessed that they were driven by societal pressures and the allure of imitating the lives of well-off peers and social media influencers.
“I committed the crimes because of peer pressure. I was envious of the lives of my peers and the lives of social media influencers. I wanted to be like them, I wanted to mimic their lives, the food they ate, their dressing, and the drinks they enjoyed.”
Chirova, in his defence, stated that he was pressured by Mupande into engaging in criminal activities. He said;
“It was not my intention to commit these crimes. It was Mupande who pressured me into committing these crimes. He was persistent in getting me to be part of his plan.”Share this story to friends