Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Three Beitbridge men from Makaphile village, who are part of a syndicate that has been robbing border jumpers, smugglers, and ordinary motorists around Beitbridge East constituency, have each been imprisoned for an effective 32 years.
Tapson Muleya (30), Victor Ndou (27), and Wonder Ndou (23) were sent to prison for robbing four motorists on a road stretch that leads to the Limpopo River via the Makaphile area last year.
The trio committed the offences while armed with knives, buttons, pepper sprays, and a camouflage rifle pouch.
Although they all denied the four charges of armed robbery, Beitbridge Regional Magistrate, Mr Innocent Bepura convicted them on the strength of the State’s evidence on Wednesday.
He slapped them with eight years imprisonment for each of the four counts, leaving the trio with 32 years effective to serve (each).
Prosecuting, Mr Cloudios Karinga, said on November 2 last year, at around 2015 hours, Partmore Dube of Beitbridge had a vehicle breakdown in the Makaphile area and he called his brother, Thembani Moyo to come on-site to assist him to fix the car.
He said when Moyo arrived, the trio emerged from the bush armed with knives, buttons, pepper spray, and a camouflage rifle pouch, pretending to be having a firearm.
The court heard that the accused persons then subdued the two men and robbed Moyo of R60, a cell phone, and a small radio all worth $4200 and R60.
They took away US$10, R40, and a kitchen knife all worth R40, Us10, and $720 from Dube, and went away.
Later that evening they pounced on Richard Mutero who was travelling from Dumba to Lutumba via the Makaphile area and robbed him of R440, Itel cell phone both worth $14 000 and R440.
Muleya and his accomplices also used the same method to rob Blessmore Machakwa at Dumba village, who had gone there to help his friend who had also had a vehicle breakdown.
They stole R1700, three containers of baby powdered milk worth R200, and a G-tel cell phone valued at $19150, and disappeared.
All the cases were reported to the police who swiftly arrested the three men on the following day in the Makaphile area and recovered part of the stolen items and the trio’s tools of the trade.