BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
THREE Mbare youths are facing life imprisonment sentences for removing vertical levers and break gear pins from defunct railway wagons after they were charged with violating the 1972 Railway Act, which critics say was often used by the Rhodesian regime of the late Ian Smith to fight nationalists.
Lionel Jambo (20), Gift Musabayana (24) and Paul Sigauke (22) appeared before magistrate Barbara Mateko charged with Contravening section 38 (2)(a) of the Railways Act Chapter 13:09.
The section reads: “Contravening section 38 of the Railway Act with intend to obstruct, upset, overthrow, injure or destroy any locomotive, rolling stock or other vehicle using a railway or to endanger the safety of any person travelling or being upon a railway, takes up, removes or displaces any rail, sleeper or other matter or thing shall be guilty of an offence and liable to be sentenced to imprisonment for life.”
The trio was not asked to plead and was remanded in custody to May 9.
Prosecutor Francisca Mukumbiri told the court that on Tuesday, Godknows Amuli and Tendai Loti, who are National Railways of Zimbabwe security guards, were conducting routine patrols at the marshalling yard when they found the trio removing vertical levers and break gear pins from a stationary railway wagon.
It is alleged that the accused persons had already removed 12 break gear pins and two vertical levers.
Amuli and Loti apprehended the accused persons and recovered the stolen property valued at US$180.
The matter was postponed to May 9 to allow the trio to look for legal representatives.
According to the law, the accused persons are not supposed to submit special circumstances in their case since it is a mandatory sentence without any privileges.