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Ex-cops jailed 10 years for armed robbery

THREE former police officers based in Beitbridge have been jailed 10 years each on charges of armed robbery.

THREE former police officers based in Beitbridge have been jailed 10 years each on charges of armed robbery.

The suspects Prince Mugove Kuchekenya, Andrew Magwenzi and Edmore Nyamaropa were convicted by Harare regional magistrate Esther Chivasa on Tuesday.

In her ruling, Chivasa said the State led by Abigail Chido Gohori managed to prove a prima facie case against the trio.

Chivasa suspended four years for Kuchekenya due to ill health.

She also suspended two years each for Magwenzi and Nyamaropa on condition of good behaviour.

“If people can be robbed in broad daylight by armed policemen no one will be safe in this country,” Chivasa said.

“Failure to pass a deterrent sentence will mean survival of the fittest in this country.

“Cases of robbery are on the increase and (the courts are) there to pass deterrent sentences.”

“However, I will put into consideration that the accused have been in custody for a year.”

The complainant in the matter is Timothy Musariranwa of Waterfalls, Harare, a senior compliance inspector with the National Employment Council, tourism department.

The court heard that on April 17, 2023, Musariranwa drove his vehicle from Mandi Lodge in Beitbridge to Puma service station to refuel.

While refuelling, he was attacked by the suspects who were travelling in an unregistered silver Toyota Corolla.

They threatened to shoot him and ordered him to surrender the motor vehicle.

They allegedly drove the motor vehicle to Harare.

However, investigations led to the recovery of the vehicle, and the subsequent arrest of the three cops.

Their lawyer, Asheil Mugiya, submitted on Tuesday in mitigation that the firearms used by the accused persons were given to them for official duties.

He disputed the State submissions that the use of firearms was aggravating, saying the accused were already in possession of the firearms for official use as peace and security officers.

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