Danisa Masuku , Chronicle Correspondent
A FORMER soldier who was apprehended while attempting to rob an elderly woman at gun-point at her house in Lobengula West, Bulawayo, has been sentenced to an effective seven years in jail.
Ian Sibanda (56) committed the offence with Learnmore Kwari who had tipped him that the woman had money to buy a house from his in-laws.
Kwari is still at large after escaping from the scene during the botched robbery attempt.
Sibanda appeared before Bulawayo Regional Magistrate Mr Joseph Mabeza this week on Tuesday, facing charges of attempted armed robbery and possession of a firearm without a licence.
He pleaded guilty to both counts.
For the first count Mr Mabeza sentenced him to eight years imprisonment and suspended two years on condition that Sibanda does not commit a similar offence within five years. For possession of a firearm arm without a licence he was slapped with a one-year jail sentence. He will effectively serve seven years in jail.
The prosecutor Ms Chosen Makanda told the court that Sibanda and Kwari pounced on Livia Matshazi’s (66) house in Lobengula West suburb.
“At about 630PM the accused person in the accompany of his accomplice Kwari who is on the run stormed into Matshazi’s sitting room and found her with her 16- year – old granddaughter. He pulled out a pistol from his waist and pointed it at Matshazi while demanding cash.
Upon hearing unusual noise from the sitting room Matshazi’s grandson who was in the spare bedroom armed himself with a golf club, rushed to the sitting room. He hit Sibanda hard with the golf club on the armed arm causing him to drop the pistol,” she said.
Ms Makanda said the grandson disarmed Sibanda.
“He picked the pistol and called neighbours who assisted in apprehending Sibanda. Kwari fled. A pistol with erased serial numbers with live ammunition and a BMW car all belonging to the accused were taken to Magwegwe police station. Sibanda was force-marched to Magwegwe Police Station.
On the same day the detectives from CID homicide went to the station and discovered that the firearm’s serial numbers were erased, suggesting it was a stolen firearm.
After investigations it was discovered that the accused used a firearm without a certificate,” she said.