Does This Photo Show a Thief Nabbed in Shanzu, Kenya?

By Naomi Wanjiku

This Facebook post claims to show a thief who was allegedy arrested at Shanzu in Mombasa County, Kenya.

The Facebook post informs Malindi and Mtwapa residents they can breathe a sigh of relief after the arrest of a thief who has been terrorising them since December 2019.

“PEOPLE IN MALINDI AND MTWAPA: This guy has been nabbed today. He has been terrorizing people at night ambushing families at night pretending to be a ghost, when you run away he robs you. Today he was nabbed in Shanzu after stealing people since 2019 December,” the post, which was published on 27 May 2021, states.


Three images of the alleged thief in a black skeleton costume are attached. A reverse image search by PesaCheck found that the man is not Kenyan but Zimbabwean.

NewsDay, a Zimbabwean website, identified the man in the ghost suit as Norman Chagwiza of Gutu district in Masvingo. According to the Zimbabwean publication, the 27-year-old is a burglar who dresses up in a ghost suit to scare his victims. Once the victims see him, they flee, giving him ample time to steal their valuables.

Zimbabwean National police spokesperson Paul Nyathi confirmed to NewsDay that Chagwiza had been arrested due to burglary. According to the publication, Chagwiza had robbed two homesteads using the same tactic of wearing a ghost-like suit.

“He stole a ladder at a certain homestead, then in another incident, he locked the door from outside while trying to steal solar panels, but the owner of the house broke the door and ran after him and he was caught,” Nyathi told NewsDay.

iHarare, another Zimbabwean website, also reported that award-winning Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono had also confirmed the news on his Twitter page.

“Zimbabwean thieves have become cunning and creative! This guy was breaking into people’s homes in Gutu, pretending to be a ghost. His victims would run away consumed with the fear of having seen a ghost, then he would help himself to their property! Fortunately he was arrested,” the award-winning journalist wrote.


PesaCheck has looked into a Facebook post claiming to show a thief who was arrested at Shanzu in Mombasa County, Kenya, and finds it to be FALSE.

This story was produced by Africa Uncensored in partnership with Code for Africa with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie.

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