Senior Court Reporter
The son of suspected mastermind of the US$2,7 million ZB Bank cash heist has been freed on $10 000 bail by a Harare magistrate on his charges of obstruction of justice for burying underground US$100 000, allegedly part of the loot, in a pot at his family’s rural home.
Job Njowa (23), son to suspected robbery mastermind Shadreck Njowa, was yesterday granted bail by magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi, and remanded to March 4, but his cousin Tichaona Njowa, who dug up the money and squandered most of it at a nearby business centre, thus alerting the police, has to wait until tomorrow for the outcome of his bail application on theft charges.
Job allegedly buried US$100 000 at the family’s rural homestead in Mudakuenda village in Mhondoro at around 9pm on January 18, but he was reportedly seen by Tichaona who returned at 4am the next day, dug it up and went on a lavish spending spree at Turf in Ngezi.
The reckless spending allegedly saw him buying a second car when the first one he had bought developed a mechanical fault.
This attracted the attention of the police who arrested him and led to the further arrest of his cousin, Job.
Job, a Midlands State University (MSU) student, appeared in court on Monday on obstruction of the course of justice charges while Tichaona appeared the same day separately on theft charges.
Job reportedly disappeared from his Highfield residence in Harare with his father soon after the robbery.
He was represented by lawyer Mr Steady Kachere and denied involvement in the robbery, saying he was only a college student at MSU and was not in the village on the day the money was allegedly found at their rural home.
On January 6, his father and other members of the ZB Bank cash-in-transit crew, were tasked to deliver money to some of the bank’s branches countrywide, but claimed to have lost US$2,7 million and $43 000 to armed robbers.
However, investigators believe the robbery was stage-managed along the Harare-Chinhoyi road after Nyabira Business Centre. On January 18, Job and his father left Harare for their rural home in Mhondoro and upon arrival, Shadreck allegedly ordered his son to hide US$100 000.