BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
A 30-YEAR-OLD man, who was part of a gang that has been terrorising residents in Marondera, has been sentenced to 28 years in prison by regional magistrate Clever Tsikwa, who convicted him on three counts of armed robbery.
Blessing Kuzvinzwa Nyika, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to three of the four counts and will serve an effective 25-year jail term after three years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
According to court papers, on February 15, Nyika and his four accomplices, who are still at large, went to Ndirande Farm in Goromonzi, where he was formerly employed as a general worker.
They broke into magistrate-turned-lawyer Jacqueline Pratt’s house and ordered her and her four employees to lie down while assaulting them with wooden logs.
They tied the complainants with cables and ransacked the house. They stole a Bernadelli pistol loaded with 20 rounds, US$270, ZWR$1 270, Tab E cellphones and a Mercedes-Benz ML car keys.
The total value of the stolen property was pegged at $10 040 and only $8 150 was recovered.
The robbers then bundled the complainants into the car and drove to Pratt’s daughter-in-law’s residence, who resides on the same farm.
On arrival at Pratt’s daughter-in-law’s place, the gang stole some property and cash using Pratt’s pistol. They then dumped the Mercedes-Benz and stole a Nissan X-Trail.
On the third count, during the same night and using the stolen Nissan X-Trail, the robbers, now wearing masks, went to businessman Gift Phillip’s place of residence.
They broke the bedroom window and pointed the stolen pistol at Phillip and his wife while others were breaking down the kitchen door to gain entry.
While inside the house, they threatened to rape Phillip’s wife if they were not given money.
They ransacked the house and stole US$200, ZWR$800 and some valuable. Goods worth $250 were recovered.
During the same night and using the stolen Nissan X-Trail, the gang carried out another armed robbery in Ruvimbo Park, where they stole cash and valuables before disappearing.
Nyika was arrested after police details discovered one of the stolen phones from a buyer who implicated him. He then led police to where he had sold some of the stolen gadgets.
Memory Mandudzo represented the State.