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Fawcetts employees jailed 11 years for US$305 000 robbery

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Fawcetts employees jailed 11 years for US$305 000 robbery



GWERU – Regional Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa has sentenced two Fawcetts Security guards to 11 years behind bars for robbing their employer of US$305 000.
Magistrate Mugwagwa suspended a year of the sentence for condition of good behavior and four years on condition that Bongani Mapfumo (30) who was employed as a driver and his accomplice Blessing Lizhu (39) restitute the company US$134 252 each by August 29, 2024.
A senior Fawcetts Security Company employee in charge of cash-in transit Langelihle Moyo (43) was freed after a full trial after spending three years in remand prison.
Magistrate Mugwagwa exonerated him for lack of evidence linking him to the robbery. She also said the State had overwhelming evidence that Mapfumo and Lizhu collaborated the robbery.
She also ordered that US$18 780 that was recovered should be returned to Fawcetts.
The robbery happened on November 25, 2021, near Connemara Open Prison in Gweru along the Harare- Bulawayo Highway. Four other suspects are still on the run.
Circumstances are that Lizhu and his accomplices produced an AK 47 rifle and a CZ pistol and ordered other guards Emmanuel Nhamo and Thomas Chisambasi to remain silent. The armed robbers hit Nhamo with a spanner in the head several times.
The gang used the spanner to unlock three cash boxes and loaded the money into bags. They then force marched Mapfumo and Chisambasi to the back of the vehicle and tied their hands and legs.
One of the accused persons then drove the cash-in-transit vehicle into a nearby bush. Moyo then phoned his superior Israel Mberengwa who was at the company’s Bulawayo office and informed him that they had been robbed.
Police investigations later reviewed contradictions in Mapfumo’s statements leading to his arrest. He initially told Police that they were robbed at a roadblock and later changed his statement to implicate Lizhu and Moyo.
Prosecutor Vivian Chindedza said the robbery was premeditated. She described it as a brazen act with inherent callousness which would have made the company’s clients lose confidence and trust.

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