Armed robbers to serve 72 years in prison

24 Oct, 2021 - 14:10 0 Views
Armed robbers to serve 72 years in prison

The Chronicle

Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief

THREE men serving 60 years each for armed robbery have had their sentences extended by a further 12 years after they were convicted of robbing gold miners and gold dealers.

The fourth accused – a police officer – skipped bail and a warrant of arrest has been issued.

The trio of Ishmael Thulani Nkala (38), Learmore Makore (27) and Taurai Matarirano (27), all from Zvishavane, appeared before Gweru Regional Magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa, facing seven counts of armed robbery.

Nkala, Makore and Matarirano are incacerated at Hwahwa prison for 10 counts of armed robbery.

The police officer, Isaac Kawundura, who was out on bail granted by the High Court is on the run.

Mrs Msipa issued a warrant for his arrest.

Nkala, Makore and Matarirano pleaded not guilty to seven counts of armed robbery.

They were convicted after a full trial.

Mrs Msipa handed them a 12-year prison sentence each.

It was the State case that on 6 December 2018, at 7pm, Nkala, Makore, Matarirano and Kawundura went to a gold buyer’s house in Shurugwi.

The quartet, armed with pistols and rifles and dressed in both police and civilian attire arrived at the complainant’s house.

They found the seven complainants, who included Jothamu Marumisa, Isaya Mapondo, Wishes and Slyvia Gomba and Owen Moyo at the house.

The court heard that they force matched the complainants into three separate rooms where they told them that they were under arrest on trumped up charges of illegal dealing in gold.

Nkala, Makore, Matarirano and Kawundura searched the complainants and took some cash they had.

The court heard that Nkala, Makore, Matarirano and Kawundura forced open one of the doors to a room where they took gold valued at US$40 000.

The armed robbers fled from the house in a Toyota Fortuner belonging to one of the complainant’s and a Ford Ranger.

On December 7, the Ford Ranger, 14 cellphones, and a gold furnace were recovered dumped in a bushy area near Gweru.

On December 26 the four accused persons were arrested in Zvishavane.

Nkala, Makore, Matarirano and Kawundura were handed 60-year-prison stay each for terrorizing mines and businesses in Zvishavane getting away with over US$100 000 in cash and other assortment of goods.

The State proved that the armed robbers were each armed with assault rifles and at one time shot dead a guard dog at one of the mines they terrorized in Midlands before firing shots as a way of wading off any challenge from the complainants they were robbing.

Mr Kevin Guveya appeared for the State.



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