Codelia Mondela, Court Reporter
A LUPANE man (23) who was part of an armed gang that broke into five premises, stole from one and robbed two people in one day, has been jailed.
The gang, armed with a pistol, machete and an axe, was mainly targeting parastatal managers and businesspeople, demanding keys to money safes at their companies. They committed the crimes in just over three hours on October 5 last year.
Codester Moyo of Location Kariba, Plumtree on Friday pleaded not guilty to five counts of unlawful entry, two of attempted robbery, two of robbery and one of theft before magistrate Mr Joseph Mabeza.
Mr Mabeza tried the 10 counts separately and sentenced Moyo to an effective nine years in prison.
The court heard that at around 1:30AM on October 5, 2016 Moyo with Simelinkosi Ncube, who was arrested and is already serving a prison term, Ndabezinhle Mpofu and a Sibhara who are still at large armed themselves with a pistol, machete and an axe to commit the crimes.
Prosecuting, Mr Tinashe Dzipe said the quartet proceeded to Elephant Restaurant at Lupane that is owned by Busani Moyo. They were led by Moyo’s former employee, Ncube.
“They demanded money, but Moyo managed to squeeze his way past and fled. the accused then broke 12 window panes,” said Mr Dzipe. “They man-handled Sizwaniso Mathe, a guard at Elephant Restaurant, demanded money from him and threatened to shoot him with a pistol. However, the security guard managed to escape.”
“Around 3AM the same day they forced their way into Collins Masuku’s home, pointed a firearm at him, demanded cash and keys for a safe at National Foods where he is the manager. Masuku gave them $140 and two Samsung cell phones. Total value of the goods lost was $630.”
The court heard that Moyo, Sibhara and Mpofu proceeded to Leornard Dube‘s house. He is the assistant technician at Lupane Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company.
One of the accused cocked a firearm, pointed it at Dube demanding money and cell phones. They escaped with $70, a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and left Dube tied with sellotape. The total value of goods stolen was $250 and nothing was recovered.
The court heard that the gang went on to rob Mavis Dube who resided in the same house with Collins Masuku but in different rooms.They slammed her against a wall, hit her with a pistol, unzipped her bag and took $150 alongside a Nokia 1208.The value of the goods lost was $195.
Dzipe said: “On the same day around 4AM, Moyo, Mpofu and Sibhara broke down a door at Wozani shop at Lupane and stole goods worth $53.”
Moyo was arrested in Plumtree after committing more crimes.