Kumbirai Christine Alfayi, Midlands Reporter
A THIEF’S luck ran out after a Gweru vendor he had robbed of nearly $14 000 before fleeing identified him inside a police station as she was making a report, minutes after he was arrested for violating Covid-19 regulations.
The Gweru Magistrate’s Court heard that the vendor was left with lacerations on her fingers after she was attacked by the machete-wielding illegal gold panners-cum-robbers.
The robbers have since been sentenced to five years each.
Liberty Mbochani (18), Nathan Paradza (20) and Peter Sigauke (23) all from Kwekwe appeared before Gweru provincial magistrate Mr Edwin Marecha facing assault and theft charges.
They pleaded not guilty, but were convicted and jailed.
“Accused one, two and three are sentenced to five years in prison each.
Five months of each sentence is suspended on condition of good behaviour.
A further six months from each sentence is suspended on condition you all restitute the complainant of her valuables,” said Mr Marecha.
It is the State’s case that on January 5 at around 11PM, Mbochani, Paradza and Sigauke who are gold panners saw the complainant, a vendor, Ms Rebecca Hofisi at Amtec garage in Gweru vending as usual.
The accused persons who were armed with home-made knives and a machete approached Ms Hofisi.
Mbochani, the court heard, grabbed the vendor’s handbag in an attempt to take it away from her.
The court heard that Mbochani cut Ms Hofisi’s handbag using a knife and assaulted her.
Mbochani and his accomplices then fled from the scene.
Inside Ms Hofisi’s bag was $13 800, US$30 and an Itel cellphone which the trio shared.
The court heard that Ms Hofisi went to Gweru Central Police Station where she wanted to report the matter.
As she was about to be assisted by the police officers, Ms Hofisi identified one of her assailants Mbochani at the charge office.
He had been arrested for violating Covid-19 regulations.
She identified the victim, leading to the arrest of Paradza and Sigauke.
Mr Fredrick Macheza appeared for the State.