‘Ju­nior’ Masendeke jailed 26 years

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Crime & Courts - Mun­yaradzi Musi­iwa Mid­lands Cor­re­spon­dent

IT runs in the fam­ily, so the say­ing goes.

And it aptly ap­plies to the Masendeke sib­lings from Gutu, Masvingo, who have en­graved the fam­ily’s name in his­tory for the wrong rea­sons.

It was only in 2003 when no­to­ri­ous rob­ber and mur­derer Edmond Edgar Masendeke was hanged for a spate of crimes com­mit­ted in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try.

Only yes­ter­day, his young brother Andrew was sen­tenced to 26 years in prison for kid­nap­ping and rob­bery.

Like his brother, Andrew com­mit­ted var­i­ous other crimes across the coun­try.

Andrew, of Mukarati vil­lage un­der Chief Mukaro in Gutu, was ar­raigned be­fore Gweru Re­gional Mag­is­trate Mr Mor­gan Ne­madire fac­ing seven counts of rob­bery and kid­nap­ping and he pleaded guilty.

Seven years of the 26-year sen­tence were sus­pended on con­di­tion he resti­tuted the com­plainants.

An­other seven years were sus­pended on con­di­tion of good be­hav­iour. He will serve an ef­fec­tive 12 years. Andrew’s ac­com­plices, Tapiwa Chimuti (29), Any­way Madala (27) and Sim­barashe Machir­itsa (40) of As­cot In­fill high-den­sity sub­urb in Gweru, were last month sen­tenced to a col­lec­tive 188 years af­ter be­ing linked to a spate of armed rob­beries in Bu­l­awayo, Zvisha­vane, Gweru, Shu­rugwi, Kwekwe and Kadoma.

Andrew and his three ac­com­plices, to­gether with two other sus­pects, Mat­ri­mony Ny­athi and Syd­ney Mangisi, who are still on the run, ter­rorised min­ers and busi­ness­peo­ple in the Mid­lands Prov­ince and Bu­l­awayo get­ting away with over $25 000, a ve­hi­cle and six ri­fles.

Chimuti was sen­tenced to 91 years, Madala 76 and Machir­itsa 21.

Po­lice re­cov­ered the ve­hi­cle and guns which were used dur­ing the rob­beries and the prop­erty has since been for­feited to the State.

They com­mit­ted the of­fences be­tween Fe­bru­ary and June this year in Mid­lands and Bu­l­awayo.

Pros­e­cu­tor Mr Lloyd Mavhiza said on Fe­bru­ary 19 this year and at around 8pm, Andrew robbed Al­fred Zvapera, a mem­ber of the Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice (ZRP) sta­tioned at Gokwe Traf­fic, be­fore kid­nap­ping him and his girl­friend.

Zvapera was driv­ing a Toy­ota Noah in Map­fun­gautsi Ex­ten­sion high-den­sity sub­urb in Gokwe.

He was stopped by Andrew and his ac­com­plices.

They pre­tended to be hitch-hik­ers, but kid­napped the cop and his girl­friend at gun­point.

They drove them to Bu­l­awayo where they kept them for two days.

Andrew then fled to Birchenough Bridge, Man­i­ca­land, where he changed his name and started op­er­at­ing a pi­rate taxi.

He was in­volved in an ac­ci­dent in Chipinge and killed one per­son on the spot.

Po­lice got a tip-off and ar­rested him for his other crimes.

Mean­while, Pat­son Dza­mara, brother to miss­ing MDC-T ac­tivist-cum-jour­nal­ist, Itai, and a Univer­sity of Zim­babwe stu­dent, were yes­ter­day sen­tenced to 315 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice for rob­bing a po­lice of­fi­cer of his hat and ba­ton in the Africa Unity Square in cen­tral Harare in June last year, writes Fun­gai Lu­pande.

The pair also stole two bags from women who were pass­ing by.

Dza­mara and Makom­borero Haruzivishe (33) were con­victed on charges of rob­bery and de­feat­ing the course of jus­tice.

Harare mag­is­trate Ms Josephine Sande sen­tenced the pair to a year in prison be­fore sus­pend­ing three months for five years.

The re­main­ing nine months were sus­pended on con­di­tion they com­plete 315 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice.

Dza­mara will per­form the com­mu­nity ser­vice at Harare Mag­is­trates’ Court while Haruzivishe will be at Bor­row­dale Po­lice Sta­tion. They start on Mon­day. In pass­ing sen­tence, Ms Sande said the pair’s mo­tive was to de­mean the po­lice of­fi­cer and they com­mit­ted the crime in the dead of night so that they could not be iden­ti­fied.

In mit­i­ga­tion, through his lawyer Mr Obey Shava, Dza­mara pleaded for the court’s le­niency say­ing he was look­ing af­ter his brother Itai’s two chil­dren.

It is re­ported that on June 9 at around mid­night the pair robbed Nomsa Dube and An­gela Chuma who were pass­ing through the Africa Unity Square where the two con­victs were camped.

The women screamed for help and three po­lice Con­sta­bles, Nyazema, Makona and Nhidza, who were on pa­trol near the Par­lia­ment of Zim­babwe build­ing, rushed to the scene.

The pair re­sisted arrest and snatched Cst Nhidza’s hat and ba­ton.

They were later ar­rested.

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