Daring robber, burglar jailed 18 years

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A daring criminal, Innocent Java, who broke into ZRP Detective Sergeant Manfred Makombe’s house and fought with him after a botched robbery before bolting out, has been slapped with an 18-year effective jail term for this and a spate of other robbery cases.

Java was initially jointly charged with Felix Dapi and Dickson Ndawana, but Dapi was found not guilty and acquitted by regional magistrate William Bhila on Wednesday while charges against Ndawana were withdrawn after plea by the State.

Bhila sentenced Java to six years for unlawful entry and 12 years for robbery.

However, two more men, Antony Katumangira and Chicken George, who were in Java’s company when they pounced on Makombe, are still at large according to the State.

On January 8 this year, Java and his alleged accomplices went to Makombe’s New Marimba home in Harare, armed with iron bars and a bolt cutter.

They scaled over the wall and forced open the kitchen door, but Makombe woke up after hearing the noise and went out to investigate.

Makumbe came face-to-face with Java and his associates and he fought with them until they ran away from the house empty-handed.

After failing to steal from Makumbe, Java and his accomplices proceeded to another house in the same neighbourhood where they broke in and entered the rooms in which Stanley Matemai, Simbarashe Mutonho and his wife Rumbidzai Nyamukondiwa were sleeping.

They held them hostage and ransacked the house, stole household property worth over $3 000 and disappeared in a getaway car.

However, Java’s luck ran out when the car was involved in an accident while fleeing from yet another robbery scene in Eastlea where he had robbed a company of $65 000.

Upon his arrest, he was taken to Southerton Police Station for an identification parade and was positively identified by all the complainants.