Sa­vanna To­bacco ac­coun­tant ‘staged’ $20 000 day­light rob­bery

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tanaka Mrewa

A COU­PLE from Bu­l­awayo has been ar­rested for us­ing a toy gun to al­legedly stage an armed rob­bery at Sa­vanna To­bacco of­fices where more than $20 000 was stolen on Tues­day last week.

The cou­ple al­legedly con­nived with the hus­band’s brother, who is still at large, and he brought a toy re­volver from South Africa which they used in the comis­sion of the crime.

Azel­lia Mad­zor­era (24) an ac­coun­tant at Sa­vanna To­bacco and her hus­band Craig Shamu (27) were ar­raigned be­fore Bu­l­awayo mag­is­trate Miss Ade­laide Mbeure yes­ter­day.

She re­manded Shamu in cus­tody and his wife to Septem­ber 28 on $50 bail.

The court heard how Shamu’s brother, Ed­win Marufu, took $12 000 of the loot to Harare where he stashed it be­fore pro­ceed­ing to South Africa.

Mr Nkat­hazo Dlodlo for the State told the court that the trio hatched a plan to fake a rob­bery in Au­gust.

“Ac­cused per­son ar­rived at work on Septem­ber 12 and she sorted money for bank­ing. In the af­ter­noon she called her hus­band who was wait­ing in the city cen­tre telling him the money was ready. He took a taxi to Fa­mona where his wife’s com­pany is,” he said.

“Shamu took $20 675 from the safe, tied his wife’s hands and legs and cov­ered her mouth with in­dus­trial tape. He left the toy gun on top of the safe and went away. He took the cell­phone that his wife had used to call him and de­stroyed it to con­ceal ev­i­dence.” Mr Dlodlo said Shamu took $6 000 of the loot and gave the rest to Marufu who took the money to Harare where it was re­cov­ered dur­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions. He said a to­tal of $18 500 was re­cov­ered after the ar­rest of the cou­ple. Mad­zor­era was fac­ing two charges; de­lib­er­ately sup­ply­ing false in­for­ma­tion to the po­lice and theft.

She pleaded counts.

“Your Wor­ship I ad­mit to both charges but my brother forced me to be part of this plan. I’m so sorry for be­tray­ing my boss’ trust. He en­trusted me with his money but I stole it from him. I also have a five-month-old baby that I’ve been breast­feed­ing from the cells since my ar­rest on Tues­day. Please grant me a bail so that I can take my baby home,” said Mad­zor­era in-be­tween sobs.

Shamu also pleaded guilty to theft.

“Your Wor­ship I’m sorry for my ac­tions. Ever since guilty to both the com­mis­sion of this of­fence, I haven’t been able to eat. I’ve been feel­ing guilty and ashamed all this week. I al­most called my wife’s boss to apol­o­gise but I was too em­bar­rassed,” said Shamu. He told the court that just a few days be­fore the com­mis­sion of the of­fence, he called Marufu telling him that he wanted out of the deal. “Some­how he man­aged to con­vince me to go through with the plan. I can’t re­ally say I was forced into it, but Marufu said he would go through with the plan ei­ther way so I ended up help­ing him,” Shamu said. Miss Mbeure sen­tenced Mad­zor­era to four months in jail for sup­ply­ing false in­for­ma­tion to the po­lice.

“One month will be sus­pended on con­di­tion of good be­hav­iour for three years. You are not to com­mit any of­fence in­volv­ing ly­ing to the po­lice. Three months will be sus­pended on con­di­tion that you per­form 105 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice at Hill­side Po­lice Sta­tion,” she said.

“Con­sid­er­ing that you are say­ing you were forced to com­mit the of­fence, this court will al­ter your plea from guilty to not guilty.

“Your hus­band has been con­victed but his sen­tence will be with­held un­til the end of your theft trial. It’s im­pos­si­ble to pass a sen­tence be­fore hear­ing how he used force to make you com­mit the of­fence.”— @tan­nytkay

Azel­lia Mad­zor­era

Craig Shamu

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