Robber spills the beans

A CONVICTED armed robber has turned the tables on his accomplices and exposed them after he had earlier exonerated them of the crime, accusing them of going back on their word that they would pay back the complainant.

SILAS NKALA
STAFF REPORTER

Knowledge Mutizwa was sentenced to an effective eight years in jail for armed robbery he committed in Hope Fountain.

He had been initially sentenced to 12 years and had two years suspended for five years and another two years suspended on condition he paid back the complainant, Ronald Ngwenya (27) his money.

Mutizwa, however, later turned on his alleged accomplices, Andrew Mutamba (31), Philip Mubonesi Sithole (35) and Agreement Sibanda (27), who were later arrested for the same crime.

The three appeared before Bulawayo Regional Court magistrate Trinos Wutawashe yesterday.

Prosecutor Robin Mukura, had called Mutizwa, who is already serving the jail term at Khami Prison to make his testimony in the case.

Mutizwa exonerated Sibanda saying he did not know him and had not seen him when they committed the offence.

While Mutamba and Mubonesi were supposedly expecting him to exonerate them in the case, he surprised them by revealed how they planned and committed the robbery.

“I met Philip in jail in a case not related to this one and when we were released we met again,” Mutizwa said.

“We discussed how we could get money.

“We later met Andrew, who said where he stayed in Hope Fountain, there was a neighbour who was a dealer and we planned to pounce on him.”

Mutizwa said on the day, Mutamba was already in Hope Fountain and he and Philip met at Manor Hotel, where they initiated their plan.

“We hired a car to take us and we phoned Mutamba who told us that he would be waiting for us,” he said.

“When we arrived, we met Mutamba and he showed us the complainant’s residence.

“Mutamba gave Philip a gun and he remained in the car, while Philip and I went to the complainant’s residence.”

Mutizwa said on their way, they met two people and hid from them. One was Ngwenya’s employee identified as Dumisani Ncube.

Ncube pleaded for his and boss’ life before being asked by the suspects to lead them to his employer’s house to show them where money was kept.

When they got to the house, they knocked and Ngwenya opened the door, only to be met by a gun-slinging Sithole, who shot in the air.

The suspects tied both Ngwenya and Ncube before demanding where they kept money.

They ransacked the house, took some money and blankets.

During cross examination, Sithole asked why Mutizwa’s evidence had changed, the latter said when they were initially arrested, they agreed he would plead guilty to the charge, but exonerate them in exchange for the restitution he was to be ordered by the court to pay back to the complainant.

Mutizwa said his two accomplices did not do as agreed and he decided to spill the beans.

The magistrate moved the matter to January 29 for continuation when other witnesses are expected to testify.

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