BY SILAS NKALA
A SOLDIER based at the One Indeep Barracks, Beitbridge, who together with his alleged accomplice — a neighbourhood watch committee (NWC) officer, who are facing robbery charges, were last week removed from remand because the complainant in the matter was reportedly locked up in a South African jail.
Corporal Nobert Muringo (36) and NWC member Milton Chauke (48) were denying the robbery charge when they appeared before Beitbridge regional magistrate Crispen Mberewere.
Since the beginning of the case last month, the complainant, Benson Shoko, did not show up at the court, prompting postponement of the matter.
On Thursday, the accused appeared in court on routine remand and the magistrate ruled that they be placed off remand since the complainant had failed to attend court to testify.
The court heard that following the arrest and initial appearance in court of the two, Shoko, who is alleged to have been part of a vehicle-smuggling syndicate, was arrested in South Africa and was locked up while awaiting trial.
The matter will proceed by way of summons.
The State alleges that Muringo, Chauke and their other accomplices only identified as Shame and Newzie, who are still at large, robbed Shoko of his Toyota Rav-4 car on April 26 at Chamunanga village after it had developed a puncture.
The State alleges that Chauke and his accomplices used machetes to threaten Shoko to surrender the car to them or pay them R20 000, accusing him of smuggling the vehicle from South Africa.
Fearing for his life, Shoko reportedly gave them US$700, but they kept on threatening him until he surrendered the car.
The accused allegedly sold the car in Bulawayo and shared the spoils. The value of the car was R200 000 and nothing was recovered.
Police investigations led to the arrest of the two.