Lovemore Kadzura Rusape Correspondent
FOUR Mutare-Harare Highway robbers including a woman who were in the habit of robbing various goods from slow moving trucks at Mufusire near Headlands were each jailed seven years.
The gang was recently convicted of stealing goods worth $20 000, of which goods worth $16 000 were recovered.
Their accomplice, Gift Chimonbe, was convicted earlier after he pleaded guilty and was also sentenced to seven years.
Gift Chimombe of no fixed abode, Andrew Chimuti (26) of no fixed abode, Vimbai Tatenda Tenda (23) of no fixed abode and Zivanai Tenda (27) of Plot 3, Mufusire, Headlands were represented by Mr Maxwell Chiwanza of Chiwanza and Associates and pleaded not guilty.
They were convicted by Rusape provincial magistrate, Mr Shane Kubonera due to overwhelming evidence against them.
State prosecutor, Mr Tafara Chawatama, told the court that the quartet on two separate occasions stole goods worth $330 from Ashback Transport truck and $20 000 from Over Night Express Company by way of boarding the truck on the back while they were in motion. They broke locks and stole valuables.
“On October 6, 2016 at around 9pm, Kumbirai Fenyere was driving a Freightliner truck, Registration Number ABZ-6951 from Harare to Mutare towing a trailer loaded with Compound D fertliser. The load was secured with a tent.
“Upon approaching Mufusire Uphill, Headlands, accused persons who were on ambush boarded the truck while in motion and cut open the tent with an unknown object. They stole 11x50kgs of Grow Compound D fertliser and went away unnoticed. They took the bags the bags of fertiliser and hide them in a gum tree plantation. Accused persons covered the fertliser with grasses at Plot 3, Mufusire where Zivanai Tenda resides,” said Mr Chawatama.
Fenyere discovered the offence upon arrival at Rusape Tollgate and filed a report at Headlands Police Station the following day.
Investigations made by police led to the arrest of Zivanai on October 11, 2016.
He admitted committing the offence and implicated the other accused persons.
“The value of stolen goods is $330 and the recovered is $180,” said Mr Chawatama.
On the second count, Mr Chawatama told the court that the four used the same modus operand to steal from Over Night Express truck.
“On August 7, 2016 at 2am, Palmer Charama was driving a truck loaded with a container from Harare to Mutare. The container was loaded with various goods.
“Upon arrival at Mufusire Uphill, the four accused persons who were on ambush boarded the truck while in motion and broke the locks on the container. After breaking the locks, they stole property including airtime cards worth $10 000, machines, cellphones, bank cards and other items.
“They shared some of the property which includes cellphones and Net-One recharge cards among themselves. They hid the remainder at Zivanai Tenda’s house,” he said.
On October 8, 2016, police officers received information to the effect that the four accused persons had committed the offence. Acting on the tip off, police arrested Chimuti in Marondera. Upon being searched he was found with Net-One airtime cards serial numbers tallied with those stolen from the complainant’s vehicle.
On the same day, Chimombe and Vimbai Tenda were arrested. On October 9, Zivanai Tenda was arrested. When he was interviewed he led to the recovery of several goods they had stolen.