Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Woman says hubby forced her to stage armed robbery

By Tanaka Mrewa

A woman who allegedly teamed up with her husband and his brother to stage an armed robbery at Molsky Distributors (exclusive distributors of Savanna Tobacco brands) in Bulawayo where more than $20 000 was stolen, has told a court her husband forced her to take part in the crime.

Azellia Madzorera (24) an accountant at Savanna Tobacco and her husband Craig Shamu (27)
Azellia Madzorera (24) an accountant at Savanna Tobacco and her husband Craig Shamu (27)

Azellia Madzorera (24), an accountant at Molsky Distributors and her husband Craig Shamu (27) appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mrs Adelaide Mbeure on Wednesday.

Shamu’s brother, who is still at large, allegedly brought a toy gun from South Africa which was used in the fake robbery.

Madzorera told the court that her husband threatened to divorce her and take away her five months old daughter if she refused to take part in the robbery.

The magistrate altered her plea to not guilty.

She was facing two charges; deliberately supplying false information to the police and theft while Shamu faced a theft charge.

In her defence outline, Madzorera said: “I could not bear to lose my child and my marriage so I was compelled to play along.

“My brother-in-law came on Friday from South Africa and it was agreed that the plan be executed on Monday.”

During cross examination, Mr Godfrey Mukumba, Madzorera’s boss, said there was no evidence directly linking her to the offence.

“Madzorera remained by herself when I left.

“When I got back she told me all the money that was supposed to be taken to the bank had been stolen.

“The only evidence that I can present to this court is that part of the money was recovered at her place of residence and some of it was recovered through her husband who led us to Harare where they had stashed some of it,” he said.

Miss Mbeure last week sentenced Madzorera to four months in jail for supplying false information to the police.

She suspended one month on condition of good behaviour for three years.

Madzorera is currently performing 105 hours of community service at Hillside police station for the remaining three months.

Miss Mbeure convicted Shamu of theft on his own plea of guilty but withheld sentence until the end of Madzorera’s trial.

Mr Francis Mvalo for the State told the court that the trio hatched a plan to fake a robbery in August.

The court heard how Shamu’s brother, Edwin Marufu, took $12 000 of the loot to Harare where he stashed it before proceeding to South Africa.

“Accused person arrived at work on September 12 and she sorted money for banking. In the afternoon she called her husband who was waiting in the city centre telling him the money was ready. He took a taxi to Famona where his wife’s company is,” he said.

“Shamu took $20 675 from the safe, tied his wife’s hands and legs and covered her mouth with industrial tape. He left the toy gun on top of the safe and went away. He took the cell phone that his wife had used to call him and destroyed it to conceal evidence.”Chronicle