Fungai Jachi Court Correspondent
Three armed robbers who broke into a house in Marlborough, Harare, threatened the occupants with a pistol and other weapons, before stealing property worth $8 000, were on Friday sentenced to a combined 35 years in prison by a Harare magistrate.
Andrew Hogo (36), Nomatter Kupukai (27) and Michael Nhira (38) appeared before Mr Themba Kuwanda facing armed robbery charges.
Mr Kuwanda sentenced Hogo to 12 years and four years were suspended for five years on condition he does not commit a similar offence during that period.
He will serve an effective eight years.
Kupukai will serve an effective seven years after five years were suspended from his 12-year prison term.
Nhira was sentenced to six years in jail and another five years were added to his sentence as he had previous convictions of armed robbery.
As a result, he will serve an effective 11 years.
Mr Kuwanda said harsh sentences were appropriate for armed robbery cases to deter would-be offenders.
Prosecuting, Ms Rufaro Mhandu proved that on January 17 last year, the trio, in the company of three other men, went to Constance Mukonho’s house in Marlborough.
They were armed with a pistol, knives, a baseball bat and wooden logs.
Upon arrival, the trio gained entry into the house through the kitchen door after they tied up a maid who was about to lock the door.
The court heard that they went into Mukonho’s bedroom where they also tied her hands and legs with an electric cable before ransacking her bedroom looking for money.
They did not find any cash in Mukonho’s bedroom. They, however, took $870, clothes and shoes from her daughter’s bedroom. The total value of the stolen goods and cash was estimated at $8 000.
The trio and their accomplices loaded Mukonho’s household property in their getaway car.
They drove away, leaving Mukonho and her family tied and locked up in the toilet.
The trio was arrested after police received a tip-off.