A BULAWAYO domestic worker allegedly ganged up with four accomplices and drugged his ex-employer’s four vicious dogs to access the premises before robbing his former boss of US$32 000, R35 000, and £1 500 at gunpoint, a magistrate heard.
Bulawayo regional magistrate, Mr Joseph Mabeza heard this when Craig Dube (29), a domestic worker formerly employed by Mr Concern Sibanda, appeared before him, together with his accomplices Shepherd Ncube (34), Mbuso Ncube (37), Selby Nkala (37), and Bupenyu Ncube (35) facing armed robbery charges.
The quintet pleaded not guilty and was remanded in custody to 26 September for trial.
Prosecuting, Ms Portia Mashazhu said on November 14, 2021, at around 2AM, the five men armed themselves with a gun, knife, and an iron bar and went to the complainant’s home in Kensington.
The court heard that upon arrival, they allegedly drugged Mr Sibanda’s four dogs resulting in them being unconscious.
“After drugging the dogs, the accused persons entered the premises and rounded up the employees and took them to one of the rooms where they tied their hands using shoelaces before ordering them to lie on their stomachs,” said Ms Mashazhu.
The court was told that one of the accused persons remained behind guarding the complainant’s employer’s family, while the others laid an ambush on the complainant at the gate.
“At around 7.50AM, the complainant opened the front door to his main house as he was preparing to go to church with his wife, Ms Ruth Sibanda who is now deceased,” said Ms Mashazhu.
Upon spotting the couple, the accused persons immediately stormed into the house and pointed the firearm at the two victims threatening to shoot them as they demanded keys to the safe.
The accused persons then manhandled the complainant and his wife and kicked them as they demanded safe keys.
Mr Sibanda gave the accused person his safe keys and led them to where he kept the money.
“The complainant showed them the safe that was in the storeroom and they opened it and took US$23 000 and R35 000. They demanded to be shown more safes in the house,” said Ms Mashazhu.
The court heard that Mr Sibanda led the gang to another safe where they took US$3 000 and 1500 British pounds.
Ms Mashazhu said the accused persons opened the complainant’s gun cabinet and took US$6 000, a .38mm Rossi revolver, eight live rounds, and two smartphones.
After ransacking the complainant’s house, the gang demanded car keys, took his Toyota Hilux, and drove off. The stolen car was found the following day abandoned outside a house in Emganwini suburb in Bulawayo.
Investigations led to the arrest of the five men. The stolen revolver was recovered from one Gift Sebata who is now deceased. The money was not recovered.