A 28-year-old armed robber Tapera Maturiro was last week slapped with an effective 14-year jail term after being convicted of embarking on a robbery spree where he targeted and mugged taxi drivers in Harare.
REPORT BY CHARLES LAITON SENIOR COURT REPORTER
Initially, Maturiro was charged alongside Tendai Learnmore Muza (24), but his co-accused was found not guilty and acquitted by regional magistrate Fadzai Mtombeni last Friday.
“What is disgusting about the accused’s behaviour is that they stripped the motor vehicle, took the shell and set it ablaze in Epworth.
“A clear indication of destruction of evidence and someone’s hard-worked -for property,” Mtombeni said.
“Accused was actually taking it as business to rob taxi drivers.”
The magistrate slapped Maturiro with an 18-year jail term for the two counts of robbery.
The court heard that on April 16 this year, Maturiro and his colleagues approached a taxi driver, Nesbert Chizhanje at Tipperaris Night Club and hired him to take them to Chitungwiza.
However, as they approached Sunningdale, Harare, Maturiro produced a knife, grabbed Chizhanje by the neck and ordered him to stop.
The gang then tied Chizhanje’s hands and legs with sellotape, stole his $60 and phone, before throwing him out of the vehicle which they later sold to one Nyasha Mangezi for $1 800.
A month later, Maturiro and his gang pounced on one Richard Kanyongo whom they called on his business numbers displayed on his car and invited him to Belvedere, Harare.
When he got to Belvedere, Maturiro got into the vehicle, produced a knife and threatened him with death if he did not comply.
They secured Kanyongo’s hands and legs with sellotape and seat belt before robbing him of $120 cash, a cellphone and his car which they stripped of various parts for sale before setting the shell ablaze in Epworth.
Maturiro’s luck ran out on August 4 when police received information leading to his arrest and the recovery of one of the stolen vehicles and the burnt shell.
Valerie Ngoma prosecuted.