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High Court dismisses appeal by 2 convicted serial burglars

by Staff reporter
25 Jun 2018 at 07:29hrs | Views
THE High Court has dismissed an appeal against conviction and sentence by two serial burglars who stole $80 000 after raiding two supermarkets, including aspiring Zanu-PF Bulawayo South aspiring MP, Raji Modi's Wholesale Liquor Hub Centre.

Agrippa Mloyi (35) of Mzilikazi and Elias Mudenda (41) of New Lobengula were part of a gang of robbers that targeted major supermarkets mostly in the city centre.

The two men, who were initially facing 10 counts of unlawful entry and theft, were jointly convicted of four counts by Bulawayo magistrate Ms Gladmore Mushove.

They were acquitted on the other six counts.

Mloyi was sentenced to 66 months of which 16 months were conditionally suspended for five years.

Ten months were further suspended on condition that he restitutes $52 820,92 to Wholesale Liquor Hub Centre.

Mudenda got five years of which 16 months were suspended for five years on condition that he does not within the same period commit a similar offence.

A further 14 months were suspended on condition he restitutes Greens Supermarket $30 568.

The spate of burglary, which began in October 2015, targeted supermarkets mostly in the city centre where the robbers used grinders to open safes and steal money.

The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nicholas Mathonsi follows an application by Mloyi and Mudenda through their lawyer Ms Privilege Vundla of Mutuso, Mhiribidi and Partners, challenging their conviction and sentence.

Justice Mathonsi who was sitting with Justice Maxwell Takuva during criminal appeals at the Bulawayo High Court, ruled that the conviction was proper.

"I have concluded that the conviction of the appellants was safe and proper in the circumstances and the appeal must therefore fail. The appellants challenged the sentence on the ground that the values of the prejudice were astronomical and unproven. The sums of money and the value of the stolen goods are relevant when considering the sentence," said the judge.

Justice Mathonsi said there was no misdirection in the sentence.

"Accordingly, both appeals are hereby dismissed in their entirety," ruled the judge.

The appellants in their grounds of appeal argued that the conviction was not supported by evidence. "It is submitted that the State ought to have led evidence proving that there was cash in the amounts alleged by it to have been stolen. The challenge equally applied to proof of what was allegedly stolen and the value thereof," said Ms Vundla.

According to court papers, in February 2015, Mudenda and Mloyi pounced on Greens Supermarket located between 3rd and 4th Avenue along Jason Moyo Street at around 10PM where they scaled the perimeter wall, cut the zinc roofing and gained entry.

They also cut three safes that were in the director's office and stole $30 568.

On March 29, at around 8PM, they went to Wholesale Liquor Hub Centre at 4th Avenue and Fife Street where they cut the premises rear gate and gained entry.

While inside they scaled the roof, cut the zinc roofing sheets and accessed the ceiling before gaining entry in the shop.

Using a grinder, the trio cut two safes and stole $52 820,92. Acting on a tip off, police teamed up with members from the Crime Prevention Unit and raided Mudenda's house and arrested him. He then led police detectives to Agrippa's place of residence leading to his arrest.

Source - chronicle