TWO men from Dulibadzimu in Beitbridge have been slapped with an effective 10-month jail term each for impersonating police officers, robbery and fined $100 for invasion of a protected area at the Beitbridge Border Post.
BY SILAS NKALA
Elvis Murombo and Osward Zhou denied the charges of impersonating police officers, robbery and invasion of a protected area when they appeared before Beitbridge magistrate Langton Mkwengi early this week.
On Tuesday, the magistrate convicted them of all the charges. He then sentenced them to four months in jail for impersonation, six months for robbery and fined them $100 each for contravention of the Protected Places Act. In sentencing them, Mkwengi said the State proved beyond doubt that the two had committed the offences.
Prosecutor Munyonga Kuvarega told the court that in the first count of impersonation, the complainant in the matter is Spencer Tshuma from Kwekwe.
He said on May 17 at 1am, Tshuma was at Beitbridge Border Post on his way to Musina when he met Murombo, who identified himself as a police officer deployed at the border. The two were later joined by Zhou whom Murombo addressed as his junior.
Zhou started pleading with Murombo, whom he referred to as boss to solve whatever the matter he had with Tshuma amicably.
Tshuma, acting in fear, surrendered his passport to them and they accused him of overstaying before ordering him to follow them to their office. He complied.
It is the State case that in the second count, Tshuma followed them when they walked towards the border entrance gate and when they arrived at a dark place they stopped and ordered him to stand as they searched him.
He resisted, but the two allegedly insisted before they took his wallet which had R3 500. Murombo took the money and gave Tshuma his wallet. They then struck him twice on the face with open hands.
Murombo allegedly gave Zhou R800 and then gave Tshuma R500 before allegedly ordering him to disappear. The two allegedly walked towards the gate and threatened Tshuma who was following them that they would deal with him
Tshuma reported the matter to police officers who were manning the main gate who gave chase and arrested the pair. The stolen money was recovered.
In the third count, it was discovered upon their arrest that they had no passports, hence, they had violated sections of the law that forbids people to go into protected areas without following due processes.