File photo: Crime

A notorious armed robber who was recently nabbed for stealing US$36,000 from a home told a court he needed the money to pay the bride price of his wife.

Aaron Franscico Machona, 37, is also accused of shooting a woman in front of her family during his second raid.

He confessed to breaking into the homes of residents and assaulting them before making away with their monies, of which he used part to pay the bride price.

He was charged with murder, attempted robbery, armed robbery and money laundering.

It is the State’s case that on January 30, at around 4 am, 43-year-old housemaid, Shamiso Nhera was alone at a property in Picnic Park, Waterfalls when Machona broke in.

Nhera heard the dog barking and woke up to investigate only to be confronted by Machona in the passage.

According to court papers, Machona force-marched Nhera to the bedroom where he blindfolded her and allegedly stole two mobile phones and two laptops.

The State alleges that he went on to steal a safe containing US$36,000 which was mounted inside a fitted wardrobe.

Further allegations are that on March 9, 2022, at around midnight, Machona targeted another house where a 31-year-old, her mother and four children were sleeping.

Machona violently assaulted the homeowner with her own walking stick while demanding cash.

She handed over US$60 and two mobile phones but Machona continued with the assault until Jubilee tried to restrain him.

Further allegations are that Machona shot the young woman in the head and she died instantly.

ZimLive reports that prosecutors also allege that Machona used some of the proceeds of his crimes to paybride price for his wife who has a Mozambican father and Zimbabwean mother. Machona travelled to Mozambique for the event, paying out US$10,000.

Machona also bought himself a Toyota Runx vehicle and built a three-roomed house where he intends to be staying with his new wife.