By Cynthia Dube
A man from Bulawayo who connived with his married girlfriend to rob a man of two cell phones and about $100 at “gun point” has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
A court heard that Naison Sibanda (34) of Cowdray Park suburb and Siphumuzile Sibanda (41) of Nkulumane suburb subdued Mr Edson Sibanda with a jet of pepper spray on his face on May 11 and threatened to shoot him before demanding cash.
Siphumuzile, whose husband is working in South Africa, allegedly had sex with Edson in his car at St Luke’s Shopping centre before asking him to transport her and Naison to Bulawayo.
Siphumuzile and Naison had gone to St Luke’s Shopping Centre on a drinking spree.
A court heard the duo later robbed Edson of $102 and two cell phones with a toy gun, after using pepper spray on him when they arrived in Bulawayo.
Naison and Siphumuzile appeared before magistrate Mr Joseph Mabeza facing a charge of robbery.
Naison pleaded guilty but Siphumuzile denied the charge.
Mr Mabeza sentenced Naison to 12 years in prison but suspended four years for five years on condition he does not commit a similar crime.
The magistrate remanded Siphumuzile in custody to Monday for trial.
Mr Mabeza said Naison will serve an effective eight years in prison.
“In sentencing you, l considered that you are a first offender, you pleaded guilty and you showed remorse in court. Therefore, you did not waste the court’s time but robbery is a very serious offence which is prevalent these days and it only carries a custodial sentence,” he said.
Naison had pleaded for leniency.
“Your Worship, I admit the charge that is levelled against me and l`m willing to restitute the complainant. I am a vendor raising $150 per month. May this court consider a non-custodial sentence when sentencing me because l’m a widower,” said Naison.
“I have two minor children and l`m looking after my late brother’s two kids and my grandmother. I have 13 cows and a car. May I be ordered to do community service or an option to pay a fine so that l can get a second chance to look after my children.”
Siphumuzile through State papers said she only had sex with Edson.
“I met the complainant at Lupane business centre when l was with Naison and he proposed love. After that we went to his car and we had sex in the absence of Naison,” reads the paper.
“After that, we left the place coming to Bulawayo and we arrived at around 3AM. I disembarked in Nkulumane suburb and left Naison and the driver together,” reads the paper.
Prosecuting Mr Jeremiah Mutsindikwa said: “On May 11 at around 3AM, the trio arrived in Bulawayo and the accused persons disembarked from the vehicle. Siphumuzile stood guard outside the car whilst Naison went back to the car and demanded money for beer from the complainant.”
Mr Mutsindikwa said Naison sprayed Edson with the pepper spray on his face.
The court heard that Naison produced a toy gun and threatened to shoot Edson.
“Upon realising that Naison had a ‘gun’ the complainant took $102 from his pocket and threw it at Naison. After that, the complainant ran away leaving his car, Samsung tablet 3 and Samsung Galaxy IMEI. Naison took the property and disappeared,” said Mr Mutsindikwa.
After a week, police arrested Naison in the city centre after receiving a tip off from a person who had bought one of the cell phones from him.
Mr Mutsindikwa said Naison took the cops to Nkulumane suburb where they arrested Siphumuzile and recovered another cell phone in her bedroom.
“They then went to a bushy area in Cowdray Park suburb where they recovered an empty pepper spray bottle and a toy gun,” he said.
The prosecutor said the value of the stolen property was $372 and items worth $270 were recovered.