Magistrate orders investigation into allegations of shooting, torture of suspects

Court Reporter
Bulawayo regional magistrate, Mr Mark Dzira has ordered investigations into allegations of shooting and torture of three armed robbers with a view to prosecuting the culprits.
The three suspects, Surprise Phiri (31), Robson Senzawayo (24) and Webson Sibanda (27) allegedly robbed Total Service Station in Bulawayo of more than $2 000 cash and airtime recharge cards worth hundreds of dollars last year.

Phiri of 4221 Gwabalanda and Senzawayo of 31327 Entumbane were shot and injured by the police when they attempted to escape when the police officers raided their houses.

All the three suspects were allegedly tortured while in police custody.

Mr Dzira who remanded the trio in custody for an indefinite period, ordered the prosecutor Mr Goodluck Katenaire to investigate allegations of shooting and torture of the accused persons with a view to prosecuting the culprits.

The three accused who are represented by Mr Tungamirai Nyengera of Mcijo, Dube and Partners, have pleaded not guilty to armed robbery.

Phiri was shot on the leg while Senzawayo was shot on the buttocks when the two attempted to escape on 22 December.
The defence counsel applied for a referral of the case to the Constitutional Court in terms of Section 24 (2) of the Constitution but the application was dismissed by the court.

In the application, Mr Nyengera said his clients were severely tortured and their right to trial was as a result violated.

On 19 December at about 7pm, the trio allegedly pounced on Amtec Motors trading as Total Service Station along 12th Avenue in the company of Clever Nengomasha who is still at large and Peace Mutema, now late.

The court was told that they were using a Toyota Corolla driven by Senzawayo. He allegedly parked the get-away car about 50m away from the garage and Phiri, Sibanda, Nengomasha and Mutema allegedly went to the garage armed with a pistol.

It is alleged that they found Mr Tinashe Taranike, Mr Marvelous Katsidzira, both fuel attendants and the tuck shop cashier Ms Shylette Matope and pretended to be customers.

Phiri allegedly produced a pistol and pointed it at Mr Taranike while Sibanda jumped to the other side of the counter where Ms Matope was.

The court was told that the gang stole $1 163,33 cash, 191 Econet airtime recharge card strips of a dollar each, $414 worth of Telecel airtime recharge card strips, LG and Vodaphone handsets.

Nengomasha then allegedly searched Mr Katsidzira and took away $792 from his pocket before they force-marched the workers into a room and locked them up before driving off in the get away car.

The suspects were arrested following investigations based on the airtime recharge cards which they used on their cellphones.
The total amount of money stolen was $2 236 cash and nothing was recovered.


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