'Toy gun' robbers jailed

HARARE - Two Epworth robbers, who masqueraded with a toy gun — threatening motorists and hijacking cars, were slapped with three-year jail terms each yesterday.

Tafadzwa Learnmore Gwenzi, 28, and Maxwell Kwenda Choruwa, 41, were convicted of robbery by Harare magistrate, Vongai Muchuchuti.

Muchuchuti noted that Gwenzi and Choruwa were both family men with responsibilities and dependants to cater for.

She considered that they were first offenders who had pleaded guilty, showing remorse but had traumatised the complainant by attacking and depriving him of his car.

One year was suspended on condition of good behaviour and a further three months on condition the pair compensates the victim $300.

The duo will serve an effective 21 months.

The complainant was Emmanuel Mabena, 46, of Retreat Farm, Waterfalls and is the owner of a Toyota Fun Cargo registration number ADR 3136.

On October 9 this year, Mabena parked at corner Chinhoyi and Albion in the city looking for clients.

Gwenzi then approached Mabena and hired him to Zimphos on a $10 fare.

They picked up Choruwa before leaving town and Gwenzi introduced him as his cousin before continuing with their journey.

As they were about to enter Zimphos complex, Gwenzi who was seated on the front passenger seat ordered Mabena to stop the taxi saying he wanted to collect his laptop at a nearby house.

Gwenzi returned after a few minutes and produced an unidentified gun before aiming it at Mabena.

He then ordered Mabena to leave the car but he resisted and a scuffle ensued.

Mabena was then struck by an iron bar and fell down unconscious before the duo sped from the scene with his car.

Inside the car was a pair of shoes, smart phone, fire extinguisher, spare wheel, jack and various documents.

The matter was reported to the police.

On October 12 this year at around 11am, the pair was spotted in Wedza driving Mabhena’s vehicle.

They were arrested and the police discovered a black toy gun, an okapi knife and the vehicle’s registration book.

Gwenzi and Choruma led to the recovery of Mabena’s Zanu PF membership card.

The value of prejudice was $3 800 and property worth $3 500 was recovered.

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