BY REX MPHISA
BEITBRIDGE regional magistrate Sithembiso Ndebele on Wednesday chided the police for their poor performance after the court failed to nail two men accused of a R40 000 robbery due to lack of evidence.
Ndebele had to acquit the pair, Remnant Sithole and Charles Matshudula, who were accused of robbing Evelyn Chipo Mapanzure of R40 000 in Dulivhadzimo suburb.
It had been alleged that they failed to deliver a consignment of cigarettes worth R40 000 to Mapanzure after collecting the money from her, which has not been recovered.
In her verdict, Ndebele said police failed to follow leads when carrying out investigations.
“The defence asked when the case was reported and police did not bring evidence that it was reported soon after the incident. Such evidence is found at the police station and why the State failed to secure it is surprising,” Ndebele said.
She said police should have brought several independent witnesses to court if the robbery occurred at a house in Dulivhadzimo.
Only two witnesses were availed at the courts, including a police officer who investigated the case, and whose evidence Ndebele quashed.
She said police also failed to interview several people mentioned by the accused as witnesses.
Ndebele said the court was not convinced that Sithole and Matshudula, who in broad daylight went into a Dulivhadzimo house with Mapanzure could have robbed her in the presence of many people who came to the alleged scene.
Allegations were that on October 18, 2020, Sithole and Matshudula robbed Mapanzure.
Prior to this, Sithole communicated with Mapanzure through WhatsApp and they agreed to supply 10 boxes of cigarettes. Sithole collected the money from Mapanzure and gave it to Matshudula.
However, they failed to deliver the cigarettes and the matter was reported to the police as a robbery.
Matshudula was arrested on December 2 last year, while Sithole was arrested on May 29 this year. Since then they were in police custody.
Tsitsi Mutukwa appeared for the State.