Woman says hubby forced her to stage armed rob­bery

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/worldwide - Tanaka Mrewa Court Re­porter

A WOMAN who al­legedly teamed up with her hus­band and his brother to stage an armed rob­bery at Mol­sky Di s t r i b u t o r s (ex­clu­sive dis­trib­u­tors of Sa­vanna Tobacco brands) in Bu­l­awayo where more than $20 000 was stolen, has told a court her hus­band forced her to take part in the crime. Azel­lia Mad­zor­era (24), an ac­coun­tant at Mol­sky Dis­trib­u­tors and her hus­band Craig Shamu (27) ap­peared be­fore Bu­l­awayo mag­is­trate Mrs Ade­laide Mbeure on Wed­nes­day.

Shamu’s brother, who is still at large, al­legedly brought a toy gun from South Africa which was used in the fake rob­bery. Mad­zor­era told the court that her hus­band threat­ened to di­vorce her and take away her five months old daugh­ter if she re­fused to take part in the rob­bery. The mag­is­trate al­tered her plea to not guilty. She was fac­ing two charges; de­lib­er­ately sup­ply­ing false in­for­ma­tion to the po­lice and theft while Shamu faced a theft charge.

In her de­fence out­line, Mad­zor­era said: “I could not bear to lose my child and my mar­riage so I was com­pelled to play along. My brother-in-law came on Fri­day from South Africa and it was agreed that the plan be ex­e­cuted on Mon­day.”

Dur­ing cross ex­am­i­na­tion, Mr God­frey Mukumba, Mad­zor­era’s boss, said there was no ev­i­dence di­rectly link­ing her to the of­fence.

“Mad­zor­era re­mained by her­self when I left. When I got back she told me all the money that was sup­posed to be taken to the bank had been stolen. The only ev­i­dence that I can present to this court is that part of the money was re­cov­ered at her place of res­i­dence and some of it was re­cov­ered through her hus­band who led us to Harare where they had stashed some of it,” he said.

Miss Mbeure last week sen­tenced Mad­zor­era to four months in jail for sup­ply­ing false in­for­ma­tion to the po­lice. She sus­pended one month on con­di­tion of good be­hav­iour for three years.

Mad­zor­era is cur­rently per­form­ing 105 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice at Hill­side po­lice sta­tion for the re­main­ing three months.

Miss Mbeure con­victed Shamu of theft on his own plea of guilty but with­held sen­tence un­til the end of Mad­zor­era’s trial.

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

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.

“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 cell phone that his wife had used to call him and de­stroyed it to con­ceal ev­i­dence.” — @tan­nytkay

Azel­lia Mad­zor­era

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