Two notorious armed robbers from Beitbridge were yesterday sent to prison for an effective 40 years each after they were convicted for unleashing a reign of terror attacking taxi drivers in the border town.
The accused were in the habit of pouncing on local taxis whom they would hire and rob them in the newly built Khwalu suburb (SDP).
Tichaona Dave (26) and Bill Tirihama (27) denied five counts of robbery when they appeared before Beitbridge Regional Magistrate, Mr Innocent Bepura, but they were convicted on the strength of the State’s evidence.
Their third accomplice John Allan Nyoni (21) was sent to prison for 12 years after he was linked to one case of robbery.
Dave and Tirihama were convicted on four charges of robbery and each of them was slapped with 12 years’ imprisonment for each count making their full sentences 48 years.
However, they were left with 40 years effective after Mr Bepura conditionally suspended 8 years for five years.
Prosecuting, Mr Willbrought Muleya and Miss Tsitsi Mutukwa said the accused person attacked five different complainants between December 2022 and January last year while armed with a knife.
In the first case which occurred on December 7, 2022, the trio pounced on Edgar Gutsa a taxi driver whom they hired and later took his Honda Fit, a cell phone and R250 cash at knifepoint before disappearing.
The court heard that on December 22 of the same year, the accused persons robbed another taxi driver, Sifelani Ndlovu of Khwalu suburb, a cell phone and R3500 using the same method.
In 2023 on January 7, they pounced on Nyasha Chiwire near white lodge along the Bulawayo road and took his Honda Fit, a cell phone and R300.
On the fourth count, the trio attacked Mziwakhe Dube near Khwalu suburb at night on January 9.
They ordered him to surrender all his belongings and threatened to shoot him if he resisted.
After this, they took three cell phones, one subwoofer speaker and R100.
The accused hired a taxi driver Reginald Tumbare, a taxi driver in the same suburb on 12 January and later robbed him after threatening to shoot him and took away a Honda Fit, one cell phone and R350.
Some of the stolen taxi vehicles would be used as getaway cars before being abandoned in the border town at secluded places.
All cases were reported to the police leading to their arrest in September, in Harare last year where they were found driving one of the stolen cars.
SOURCE : zimbabwesituation