A gang of robbers was yesterday sentenced to a combined 44 years imprisonment after being found guilty of robbing Margaret Zvinavashe, widow of late national hero, General Vitalis Zvinavashe, in 2021.
Five of the gang members were convicted after a full trial by magistrate Sandra Mupindu, who also acquitted three others believed to be part of the gang.
Louis Munyamani, Tauya Nyanzou, Tozivepi Kuyangamara and Friday Tembo were sentenced to 12 years in prison and three years were suspended on condition that they don’t commit a similar offence in the next five years, leaving them to serve nine years.
Pious Ncube, who was seriously injured in a shootout with police when the gang was arrested, was sentenced to 12 years and four years were suspended on condition of good behaviour in the next five years.
Kudakwashe Adoni, Tendai Munson Ndlovu and Kosam Phiri were acquitted.
The State had it that Adoni, who was employed as a tractor driver at Zvinavashe’s Knockmalock Farm in Norton, hatched a plan to rob his employer.
He reportedly approached Ndlovu and Phiri informing them that his employer had cash at her residence.
Realising that they couldn’t execute the mission by themselves since the farm was guarded by armed members of the army, they engaged the others.
Ndlovu was said to have engaged Ncube’s services as he believed that he had firearms.
Ncube started communicating with Adoni, who would regularly apprise the team of the activities at the farm.
On September 14, 2021, at around 9pm, Ncube, Munyamani, Nyanzou, Kuyamangara and Tembo went to the farm armed with pistols, bolt cutters and iron bars.
On arrival, they approached a neglected farm house used as a base by soldiers guarding the farm, but they found no one there.
One Panashe Moyo arrived intending to see one of the soldiers, and the robbers confronted her.
They threatened to shoot her if failed to comply with their orders.
They tied her hands and robbed her of two cellphones before dragging and locking her up in one of the built-in cabinets inside the farm house.
The robbers then used a bolt cutter and iron bars to break open a locked still gun cabinet and stole three Ak47 rifles, 6 loaded magazines of 30 rounds belonging to the army.
They went on to ambush the soldiers when they arrived at their base and ordered them to lie down.
The soldiers refused to comply and escaped, and the gang aborted its mission and fled with the stolen guns and phones.
The gang was arrested on its way to another robbery in Selous and the guns were all recovered.
Nancy Chandakaona appeared for the State. H Metro