By Sharon Buwerimwe
A pirate taxi crew from Bulawayo allegedly bit and choked a National University of Science and Technology (NUST) student who was on his way to Selbourne Park suburb before robbing him of goods worth ZWL$10 000.
Michael Ndlovu (29) and Mthandazo Ncube (29) and two others who are still at large allegedly robbed Mr Shepherd Hama (24) of a Lenovo laptop, Iphone, Windows cell phone, ZWL$200, US$20 and a bag that had his clothes after assaulting him with a wheel spanner.
The duo pleaded not guilty to robbery before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Ulukile Muleya who remanded them in custody to July 12 for continuation of trial.
The court heard how Mr Hama boarded a taxi that was being driven by one of the accused persons and the rest got into the vehicle with Mr Hama.
Prosecuting, Mr Nathan Marime said on July 4 at around 2:30AM, Mr Hama boarded a blue Nissan taxi with Ndlovu and Ncube who pretended to be passengers going to Esigodini.
He said the vehicle drove off along Gwanda road and stopped at Cecil Avenue robots where the gang first attempted to rob Mr Hama but he resisted.
“The driver and the passenger who was sitting on the front seat went out and discussed something and then after a few minutes they returned and demanded that everyone inside the car should surrender their belongings to the driver and one of the gang members who was in the front seat,” Mr Marime said.
“Mr Hama said he could offer everything he had except his laptop as it had his school project.”
The prosecutor said the driver attempted to assault Mr Hama with a wheel spanner but he missed him and hit Ndlovu.
“The driver, frustrated, drove for about 400 metres and parked his car opposite the Nust gate, dragged Mr Hama outside the vehicle and hit him on his arms with the spanner. Ndlovu bit his hands to force him to let go of the bag,” said Mr Marime.
He said Mr Hama screamed for help but Ncube choked him. The gang allegedly slashed Mr Hama’s clothes with a knife, took his belongings and sped off.
Mr Marime said Mr Hama got help from members of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee who were patrolling that night.
“The neighbourhood watch traced the robbers in their Mitsubishi vehicle and apprehended Ncube and Ndlovu who were again looking for transport to Esigodini,” he said.
The stolen goods were not recovered. The Chronicle