BULAWAYO – One of the six serial armed robbers who operated by disguising themselves as Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) employees to gain entry into people’s properties has been sentenced to nine years imprisonment.
Bulawayo regional Magistrate Sikhumbuzo Nyathi convicted Bruce Lindani Ziyambi, 36 on his own plea of guilty.
Three years were suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence.
A further one-and-a-half years was suspended on condition that Ziyambi restitutes the complainant $400.
Two of Ziyambi’s alleged accomplices Sikhumbuzo Moyo, 39, and Bulawayo-based businessman Martin Tendai Shone, 38 were acquitted after the State found them not guilty of the charges.
However, Morgan Zulani Ndlovu’s trial was separated from the rest after the State questioned his mental health.
Magistrate Nyathi ordered the State to ensure Ndlovu was mentally examined by two doctors in terms of the Mental Health Act Chapter 15:2.
Ndlovu is in custody and his trial will commence on Thursday this week.
Circumstances surrounding the matter are that on June 28 at around 1pm, Ziyambi and five of his team members hatched a plan to go and steal from Norman David Crooks of Bulawayo’s Burnside suburb.
Prosecutor Goodluck Katenaire told the court that upon arrival at the house two accused persons remained guarding the gate outside while Ziyambi scaled over the gate into the premises.
He met a gardener whom he told he was an employee from Zesa and that he wanted to check the meter box and other plugs within the house.
The gardener led Ziyambi to the meter box and then to the maid who then showed him the plugs.
On approaching the maid Ziyambi was joined by Kelvin Ncube who is still at large.
They both produced pistols and threatened to shoot her together with the gardener if they made any noise.
They reportedly force-marched them into the sitting room where he ordered them to sit before tying up their hands and legs and covered their faces using pillow cases.
The two accused were later joined by five other gang members who started searching the house.
During the search they stole a cabinet safe containing $400, a ring and some jewellery and two loaded pistols.
They quickly loaded the stolen goods into a Mazda Rustler gateway car before fleeing the scene.
The maid and the gardener later managed to untie themselves with the help of neighbours before calling their employer who made a police report.
On July 27, Ziyambi and Ndlovu were arrested leading to the recovery of stolen goods including the two revolvers.