BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA/KENNETH NYANGANI
Two Chitungwiza women who were part of a gang allegedly involved in a spate of armed robberies across the country were each sentenced to 25 years by a Chivhu magistrate.
Idah Muyambiri (28) and Ruth Tarupihwa (30) were charged alongside their male accomplices Charles Mutize (34), who was given a similar sentence while gang leader Benisa Mutsvangwa (35) was sentenced to 35 years in jail after he was convicted on two more armed robbery counts.
The two women and Mutize will, however, serve an effective 20-year jail term each after five years were suspended on condition of good behaviour, while Mutsvangwa will spend the next 28 years behind bars.
According to court papers, on May 24, at around 4pm, Etina Chikero (33) was offered a lift by the accused persons in a Honda Fit from Murambinda to Chivhu.
After travelling about five kilometres, the four told the complainant that she had boarded a vehicle belonging to armed robbers.
They then pulled off the road and drove towards Dauramanzi Farm.
The accused pulled out knives and threatened to kill Chikero.
They then took her laptop, cellphone and cash before tying her to a tree. Chikero captured the vehicle’s registration details before the accused fled the scene
She managed to free herself and reported the matter at Chivhu Police Station.
A roadblock was mounted and the vehicle was intercepted at the 136km peg along the Harare-Chivhu Highway.
Police searched the car and recovered all the property stolen from Chikero. Also recovered was a wallet with national identity cards and driver’s licences
belonging to other victims.
Police also recovered eight kitchen knives in the vehicle. The police also found out that the car had been stolen in Marondera.
Investigations linked the accused to seven more armed robbery cases involving stolen vehicles and properties.
The total value of stolen goods was put at ZWL$27 965 and only ZWL$20 681 worth of property was recovered.
Mike Choto represented the State.
Meanwhile, a 30-year-old Mutare woman appeared in court facing eight counts of stocktheft after she allegedly stole 22 cattle.
Priscilla Chinyowa from Zimunya was granted ZWL$400 bail and remanded to June 26 by magistrate Tendai Mahwe. According to prosecutor Chris Munyuku, on an
unknown date in March and August last year, the accused, in the company of the late Paul Manyasha, stole the livestock from the Arda Transau grazing area in