By Tanaka Mrewa
A MAN from Bulawayo lost his Honda Fit vehicle to a gang of four men and a woman who seized it at knife point before tying him up and dumping him in Ntabazinduna.
Mr Anesu Chipande (25), a plumber from Hillcrest suburb, was lucky to escape unharmed as he ran off naked before the gang, which had asked for a lift, drove away in his car.
They got away with his cell phone, clothes and plumbing equipment.
Mr Chipande wandered into a nearby homestead where he sought assistance.
One of the suspects Hloniphani Ndlovu (31) was arrested in Mhondoro in Mashonaland West and he implicated Farai Mlauzi (32).
Three of their accomplices, who whose names were not mentioned in court, are still at large.
Appearing before Bulawayo Regional Magistrate Mrs Sibongile Msipa-Marondedze yesterday, Ndlovu and Mlauzi pleaded not guilty to armed robbery.
“We took the car Your Worship but we didn’t have any knives on us. We only intended to make a few trips with the car so that we could raise money. We were going to dump the vehicle anyway. We are very sorry for our conduct,” said Mlauzi.
The magistrate postponed the matter to today as the State could not get hold of some of its witnesses.
Presenting the State Case, Miss Caroline Matanga said on December 9 last year at around 4PM, Mr Chipande was leaving a house he had spent the day working at in Mahatshula suburb when one of the armed robbers asked for a lift on behalf of his accomplices.
“Complainant was driving his white Honda Fit registration number AEB 6543. One of the accused persons approached complainant asking for a lift. They offered to pay $0.50 each,” said Miss Matanga.
“One of the accused persons drew a knife and threatened to kill complainant if he refused to comply with their instructions. They ordered him to make a U-turn at Imbizo Barracks. After about 500 metres drive they ordered him to stop.”
Miss Matanga said Ndlovu tied Mr Chipande’s hands using shoe laces and took him to the back seat where he sat guarding him.
“Mlauzi drove the car and stopped close to Police Training Depot. He then searched complainant and stole a Samsung S2 cell phone, $5, two grinders, two drilling machines, various spanners, a water pump pliers and a pipe cutter,” she said.
“He stripped complainant of his work suit, removed the sandals he was wearing and swapped them for the complainant’s pair of Adidas tackies.
“They dragged him to a nearby bush but he managed to escape. Ndlovu was arrested in Mhondoro and implicated his accomplices.” The Chronicle