Two Chitungwiza men were yesterday sentenced to seven years in prison, each, for stealing two motor vehicles and cash from taxi drivers, while pretending to be genuine clients.
Kudakwashe Tinotenda Mandebvu (20) and Partson Tavengwa (21) were convicted of robbery after a full trial by Harare magistrate Mrs Yeukai Chigodora.
Initially, Mrs Chigodora had sentenced Mandebvu and Tavengwa to seven years in prison before suspending two years on condition that they do not commit the same offence within the next five years.
Another one year was also suspended on condition that they restitute all the complainants.
It is the State's case that on November 11, this year, Tavengwa Matsika was parked at corner Mbuya Nehanda Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue waiting for clients.
Mandebvu,Tavengwa and their accomplice only known as Simbarashe, who is still at large, approached and asked him to take them to Damafalls.
He charged them US$10 and they agreed. Tavengwa sat in front while his two accomplices sat in the back. When they arrival at Quality Junior School, Matsika was told to turn into a dust road and park at a certain house. One of the gang members disembarked and went into the yard and came back after a few minutes.
Suddenly Mandebvu grabbed Matsika from the back while Tavengwa grabbed his neck. They assaulted him with fists and empty bottles and demanded that he surrenders his money and other valuables.
They took Matsika's cellphone and cash in the form of US$32, RTGS$370 and 300 Rands. Tavengwa then sat behind the wheel and they drove off. They dumped Matsika at an open space near Lafarge in Mabvuku.
The vehicle was found abandoned near the Anglican Church in Machipisa in Highfield on November 21.
On the second count, on November 20 Nigel Makono was in his car at the corner of Mbuya Nehanda and Jason Moyo waiting for clients. Makono was approached by Tavengwa and Mandebvu and their accomplice known as Simbarashe who is still at large. They asked him to take them to Sunningdale.
He charged them US$7. On arrival the gang directed him to drive along Boshof Road towards Ardebennie.
When Makono slowed down the vehicle, one of the gang members grabbed him and he tried to resist but was stabbed several times on both thighs.
During the scuffle, Makono's cousin George Marimo, who was sleeping in the boot, heard the noise and woke up. Marimo tried to assist but he was also stabbed with a knife. The gang overpowered Makono and Marimo and drove away.
They stole Makono's wallet which had US$128, 3 cellphones and identification particulars.