Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Fresh charges for church robber

By Cynthia Dube

One of the four armed robbers that allegedly killed a security guard at a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church-run primary school in Bulawayo’s Pelandaba suburb last month, was back in court yesterday facing charges of possessing a gun without a licence.

Four SDA murder suspects

Martin Dlamini (36) of New Magwegwe whose hand got fractured last month during his arrest, is still in plaster.

Police arrested Dlamini last month with Tomson Phuthi (40) of Mabuthweni suburb, Ndabezinhle Mpofu (25) of Old Pumula suburb and Onious Bhebhe of Old Magwegwe suburb for allegedly killing Mr Burton Sikalonga and savagely attacking Mr Vusumuzi Tshuma who were guarding the school’s premises.

Dlamini pleaded not guilty to possessing a gun without a licence and the magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya remanded him in custody to March 14.

Prosecuting, Mr Nkathazo Dlodlo said on January 23, police received a tip off that Dlamini had a gun.

“Police carried out a search at his place of residence leading to recovery of a star pistol and one live round of ammunition hidden in a disused refrigerator in his kitchen,” he said.

Mr Dlodlo said Dlamini initially admitted ownership of the firearm.

The state said it could produce the star pistol and bullet as exhibits in court.

Mr Sikalonga died on admission to Mpilo Central Hospital following the attack while his workmate Mr Tshuma sustained injuries.

The four robbers who were allegedly armed with a gun, stole three laptops, five SDA T-shirts and nearly $300 at the school and church which are on the same premises.

The court heard that the suspects struck Sikalonga with an iron bar on the head and all over his body before stabbing him with a hunter’s knife on January 17 at around 3AM.

The four accused who are facing murder charges were last month remanded in custody to March 17. The Chronicle