Crime & Courts

Botswana Wants Vehicle Stolen By Zimbabwean Robbers Brought Back

THE Botswana law-enforcement authorities have written to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) requesting extradition of two Zimbabweans wanted in connection with a robbery case.

The two, Allan Taruvinga (37) and Jivas Chizunza (48), were recently arrested in Karoi after being found in possession of a top-of-the-range vehicle that was stolen in Botswana last year.

In a letter to the NPA, Botswana’s principal prosecution counsel in the office of the director of public prosecution, Galetiwaelwe Makhondo, requested mutual legal assistance from the Zimbabwean authorities to facilitate extradition of the duo.

It is alleged that some time last year, Taruvinga and Chizunza — who were staying in Francistown, Botswana — waylaid Mr Fadzani Fordson Phegelo of Selolwane Ward, Tutume, before robbing him of property valued at P573 300 00 (US$140 000), including a Toyota Land Cruiser.

They crossed back into the country, before taking the stolen vehicle to Karoi.

Later, they were arrested by CID detectives in the vehicle that was parked at a local food court.

The two have since appeared at the Karoi Magistrates Court charged with robbery.

They were remanded in custody pending trial.

In the extradition request, the Botswana authorities said they also want to recover Phegelo’s vehicle, which is presently being held as an exhibit at Karoi Police Station.

Botswana and Zimbabwe are parties to the Southern African Development Community protocol on mutual legal assistance.

“The assistance of the competent authority in the Republic of Zimbabwe is sought for the repatriation of the motor vehicle,” said Makhondo in the letter.

“(We also request) . . . a copy of the statement that was taken from the victim, Mr Fadzani Fordson Phegelo, after he identified the motor vehicle as his.

“We understand the said statement was recorded by Detective Sergeant Dowi of Karoi Police Station.

“Statements of the officers that arrested the accused persons in possession of the said motor vehicle.”

The Botswana authorities also requested all the information gathered by Zimbabwean police during investigations.

Head of the NPA international relations and anti-terrorism unit Mr Clement Chimbari confirmed the development.

“We are working on the papers,” he said.

“Botswana has written to us, seeking their extradition.”

Circumstances are that, on June 26 last year, around 8pm, Phegelo arrived home from binge drinking.

It is said he then parked his vehicle and locked it, before going on to open the main door of his house.

He was then attacked by one of the two suspects, who are believed to have been in the company of another person.

They reportedly attacked him with an axe handle several times all over his body, blindfolded him, and tied his hands and legs before locking him inside the toilet.

Taruvinga and Chizunza then demanded Phegelo’s car keys and money.

They took from him P1 600, before ransacking the house and loading two television sets and a cellphone into the Toyota Land Cruiser.

Taruvinga and Chizunza then forced Phelego to tell them how to start his vehicle, before driving off.

After a few days, the two made their way into Zimbabwe through an illegal crossing point in Plumtree.

While on their way, they removed the vehicle’s Botswana registration numbers and replaced them with local ones — AEX 4930.

CID Karoi detectives picked up information that there was a vehicle parked at a local food court suspected to have been stolen.

The detectives reacted swiftly and found Taruvinga and Chizunza seated in the car and apprehended them.

Investigations revealed that the number plates that were fixed on Phelego’s car belonged to one Nyasha Kajawu’s Toyota Hilux.

Kajawu resides in Ashdown Park, Harare.

-Sunday Mail-

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