Botswana service station robbers jailed

TWO armed robbers, who robbed a Botswana fuel station of P20 000, while dressed in army regalia, have been jailed two years each.

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

Sambulo Mbekezeli Ngwenya (34) of Chinotimba suburb and Leonard Ndebele (31) from Jambezi were convicted on a theft charge when they appeared before Victoria Falls magistrate, Rangarirai Gakanje.

They could not be charged with robbery after the prosecutor argued that the crime was committed outside the country, hence, the local court had no jurisdiction to charge them.

It was the State’s case that on August 21 this year, Ngwenya and Ndebele crossed to Bozazi Filling Station in Botswana wearing military fatigue and masks covering their faces.

It is alleged that they found cashier and a security guard, whom they ordered to lie down at a gunpoint before demanding the keys to open a safe, which the security guard did not have, prompting them to break the till machine and they stole P12 050.

When the manager arrived at the station, they robbed him of two cellphones.

The two were apprehended the following day in Kasane, but they had blown all the money.

They were charged with robbery in Botswana before being repatriated to Zimbabwe.

They were convicted on their own plea of guilt.

In mitigation, the two said they were unemployed and were trying to fend for their families, however, Gakanje sentenced them to 24 months’ imprisonment.

Twenty-one months were suspended on condition they each pay back $932 and return the phones they stole, while the other three were suspended for good behaviour.

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