Three men from Glen Norah B in Harare were recently jailed seven years each for assaulting and robbing farm owners at gunpoint in Beatrice and taking away US$1 100. The offenders Shadreck Tadira (33), Munyaradzi Munyuki (27) and Busani Moyo (29) were convicted after a full trial before Chitungwiza regional magistrate Mr Clever Tsikwa. Mr Tsikwa slapped them with a 10-year imprisonment terms. Two years were suspended conditionally. Another year was suspended on the condition that they restitute the complainants. Munyuki and Moyo are members of the elite 1st Presidential Guard Battalion, whose duty is to secure President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Kadira left service.
Prosecuting, Ms Trinity Nyandebvu told the court that on February 28 at around 7:30pm, the trio and other three persons who are unknown and still at large invaded a farm in Beatrice where the complainant, Luke Williams is employed as a farm manager. They were carrying guns and demanded all the money Williams had and he gave them US$250. On count two, the complainant is Philliper Richards, a co-owner of the farm.
On the same night, the robbers took Williams to the kitchen and grabbed him by the neck. They dragged him for about 20 metres into the farmhouse garden and demanded US$10 000 cash from him which they believed was stashed in one of the trucks within the farm offices. They later forced Williams to take them to his employer’s main house where they approached George Rickards who is Philliper’s husband who was sleeping on the sofa in the dining room, demanding the same amount.
Rickards led the trio to his main bedroom where Philliper was sleeping and pointed a pistol to her head, threatening to end her life whilst demanding for some cash. She then surrendered her wallet which had US$850. The robbers went on to demand to see the office safe where they opened it and found some documents and RTGS$1 000 in $5 dollar denominations which they refused to take.
The trio then switched off the lights and it triggered an alarm ring since the alarm was connected to the lights as a security mechanism and they ran away. Philliper then went to where Williams was tied up and he immediately rushed to take a firearm and fired four rounds in the air to alert other farm employees. George then informed the police about the attack through his mobile cellphone. The robbers were apprehended at Ganga area where police mounted a roadblock and only a total of US489 and RTGS $ 2140 was recovered from them.