Magistrate Letween Rwodzi yesterday descended heavily on two members of a seven-member gang who had been terrorising Redcliff residents and sentenced each of them to 20 years in prison for housebreaking, robbery and assault.
Progress Mutyanda (33) and Patrice Somuyeni (30) pleaded not guilty, but were convicted of having struck Julius Nyakudya with a machete in the head and bludgeoning him with a knobkerrie at his Redcliff home on September 27 last year before stealing property worth over $1 000.
Rwodzi sentenced the pair to an effective 15-year prison term each after suspending five years on condition of good behaviour.
The State, represented by Rugare Guvava, told the court that on the day in question, Mutyanda and Susan Musariri, in the company of four accomplices who are already doing time in prison for the crime, broke into Nyakudya’s house armed with machetes and knobkerries.
They proceeded to the bedroom where they found Nyakudya asleep and struck him with a machete on the head and attacked him with knobkerries all over the body, leaving him bleeding profusely. They then stole two cellphones, clothes and cash estimated at 4 100 pula and $165.
In passing sentence, Rwodzi said the two had committed a serious crime and deserved an equally heavy sentence which would put them away for a long time to allow society some breathing space in their absence.
“You have been convicted of a very serious crime of armed robbery in which you used dangerous weapons to assault your victim and left him unconscious. There is need to impose stiffer penalties that will send away the offenders for sometime from society so that the society gets breathing space,” said Rwodzi in passing sentence.
Nothing was recovered from the loot as most of the stolen property had already been sold while the money had been spent.