Man jailed 37 years for robbing gold transporter

HARARE - A 28-year-old man involved in the robbery of an armoured vehicle that was transporting more than six kgs of gold worth $340 000 will spend the next 30 years in prison.

Jimmy Ngonyana, who was implicated in the Kwekwe gold heist, was initially sentenced to 37 years imprisonment by regional magistrate Rodgers Kachambwa but seven years were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

Ngonyana was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder, one count of armed robbery and one count of illegal possession of gold.

On July 5 last year, five security guards from National Eye Security Company locked 6 335 grammes of gold into the vault of a vehicle driven by Charles Dangarembizi, who was in the company of Richard Simao and Shepherd Dzinavatonga.

The other two guards, Frederick Mukombami and Kudakwashe Mukwashi, followed in a Toyota Corolla escort vehicle, the court heard.

Simao, Dzinavatonga and Mukwashi were all armed with revolver pistols.

At the 2,5 km peg along the Kwekwe-Silobela Road, the armed robbers blocked the road with tree branches.

On noticing that the road was blocked, the security vehicles stopped and the gang armed with pistols, suddenly pounced on them.

They shot and deflated the tyres of the vehicle, which was carrying the precious mineral before smashing the front passenger window of the escort vehicle.

One of the men disarmed Mukwashi, ordered him and Mukombani to lie on the ground.

As the gang was busy harassing Mukwashi and Mukombani, Dangarembizi took advantage and sped off with the other vehicle but he lost control and veered off the road.

The court heard that one of the armed robbers remained guarding the escort car while the others followed the armoured vehicle.

Simao and Dangarembizi were disarmed and forced out of the vehicle while Dzinavatonga remained at the back.

Dzinavatonga was shot on the leg after firing at the robbers.

The robber bundled the security guards in the back of the car before sprinkling petrol on the vehicle and setting it on fire.

The guards managed to escape through the roof after the robbers had left with their escort car, gold and pistols. - Helen Kadirire

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