By Tonderai Saharo
TWO notorious robbers who terrorised villagers in Zaka, raping some of their victims, have each been slapped with 52-year prison sentences for the crimes.
Timothy Dzikira (26) and his accomplice, Munyaradzi Hama (28) were both convicted on four counts of rape and a spate of armed robberies they committed in Zaka district this year.
Masvingo Regional Magistrate Dambudzo Malunga handed down the sentence.
Prosecutor Edwin Mbavarira told the court that the spate of rapes and armed robberies began on 16 February this year and the last case was committed on May 8.
Court heard that the duo raped three teachers and a shopkeeper after attacking them iron bars.
On the first count, the two broke into Danda Primary School teachers’ cottages to steal goods.
Court was told that the first victim, who is a teacher at the school, heard noises from her dining room and went on to investigate.
She was confronted by the robbers who were armed with a torch and iron bars who ordered her back into her bedroom where they went on to demand money and other valuables.
Court heard that after taking some cash, Hama raped the teacher while his colleague stood guard.
During the same night, court was told that the robbers proceeded to another female teacher’s house at the same school where they broke in through the door.
The victim screamed on hearing the noise but was ordered to keep quiet by the two.
The duo started assaulting her using fists while demanding cash and her mobile phones.
After taking the cash and phones, court heard that Dzikira went on to rape the teacher, while Hama stood guard.
The victims reported the matter to the police the following morning.
In April and at around midnight, the same robbers went to Ziki business centre and broke into one of the shops and took groceries before dragging the shopkeeper to a bushy area were they took turns to rape her.
She also made a police report the following morning.
The two continued with their spate of robberies until May when they were caught by alert villagers after they had stolen and raped another teacher Rumwanda Secondary School in Zaka.
Her screams alerted male neighbours who quickly rushed to her homestead and caught the robbers as they tried to make good their escape in the cover of darkness.