Minister Mzila-Ndlovu up for $427 armed robbery

NATIONAL Healing, Reconciliation and Integration co-minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu has been charged with armed robbery and theft of property worth $427.

REPORT BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Mzila-Ndlovu, the MDC legislator for Bulilima West, faces charges of allegedly threatening to shoot two firewood poachers, Vupenyu Gumbo and Lucky Dube, before robbing them of their cash, car keys, cellphone and personal identity documents.

Mzila-Ndlovu is set to appear at the Plumtree Magistrates’ Court next week facing armed robbery and theft charges that allegedly took place at his Magazine Farm near Mbokodo along the Bulawayo-Plumtree Road on April 11 2013.

According to court papers at hand, he will face two counts of contravening Section 126 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Armed Robbery) and Section 113 (1) of the same Act (Theft).

“In that on April 11 and at Magazine Farm opposite Mbokodo, Plumtree, Moses Mzila-Ndlovu unlawfully and intentionally used violence or threats of violence, that is to say Moses Mzila-Ndlovu pointed his 303 rifle serial number 12698 at Vupenyu Gumbo demanding his property and induced Vupenyu Gumbo to relinquish lawful control over his driver’s licence, business cards, Samsung cellphone E250 and cash amounting to $365,” the State charge sheet reads in part.

Mzila-Ndlovu is accused of also pointing his firearm at Dube “demanding his property and inducing Dube to relinquish lawful control over the keys to his house”.

According to the State outline, the Bulilima West legislator caught Gumbo and Dube poaching firewood at his farm around 5pm and threatened to shoot them before allegedly robbing them.

“He ordered both of them to lie down and to produce their identification particulars,” the State outline reads. “Complainant Vupenyu took out his wallet in order to hand over his licence.

“The accused grabbed the wallet which had $365, a driver’s licence and three business cards. Lucky had no identity particulars on him.

“The accused also demanded their cellphones. Vupenyu gave him his Samsung E250 with a NetOne sim card. Lucky had no cellphone, but had his house keys which the accused took.”

Mzila-Ndlovu allegedly later directed the two firewood poachers to load the firewood onto their vehicle and follow him to his house and “they pretended to follow him, but drove to Emganwini and later Emganwini Police base to make a report”.

The two allegedly went back to the scene of the crime in the company of the police, but it was already dark.

Mzila-Ndlovu was arrested on May 19 and only property worth $62 was recovered.

His firearm was seized by the State and sent to the forensic ballistics experts for examination.

Mzila-Ndlovu denies charges of armed robbery and theft and has engaged Matshobana Ncube of Phulu and Nucbe Legal Practitioners to represent him.

Ncube refused to comment saying “the case is already before the courts”.

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