Three soldiers get 15 years each for spate of armed robberies

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  • Three Zimbabwean soldiers have been sentenced to 15 years by the military justice system for a spate of armed robberies.
  • The Zimbabwean army says rogue elements in the force will face the full wrath of the law.
  • Critics blame the armed robberies involving the military and police on a failing economy and a poorly paid army.

Three soldiers from the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) have each been sentenced to 15 years behind bars after being convicted of armed robbery, theft and unlawful entry by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces General Court Martial.

According to ZNA public relations director Colonel Alphios Makotore, Lance Corporal Fortune Ndlovu, privates Ratiel Manyanga and Kaino Masase were the latest “rogue elements of the force” to be dealt with by the the General Court Martial.

“They were convicted of armed robbery, unlawful entry, and theft after a fully contested trial before the General Court Martial seating in Bulawayo last week. They had all pleaded not guilty to the charges,” he said.

Makotore said the three were serving in the 4 Infantry Brigade in Masvingo when they committed the offences between January and July 2021.

It was revealed that Ndlovu had been demoted to the rank of private before all three of them were dismissed from the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

“Ndlovu was reduced in rank to private before all three were discharged from the Zimbabwe National Army with ignominy and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment each for the offences,” said Makotore.

The Zimbabwe National Army warned that any of its members caught on the wrong side of the law wpuld face the full wrath of the law.

Critics blame the armed robberies involving soldiers and police on a failing economy and a poorly paid army.

Unlike nurses, doctors, and teachers, soldiers and police are not allowed to go on industrial action in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, Xolisani Ncube, a journalist doing freelance work for South Africa’s Newsroom Afrika has been in police custody since Thursday last week after five unlicenced guns and ammunition linked to a spate of armed robberies were allegedly found at his Harare home.

The police were led to Ncube’s Waterfalls house after one of the country’s most wanted armed robbers, Clever Mununudzi Nengomasha, was shot and seriously injured following a skirmish with police in Harare.

Two 22 Bruno rifles, a .357 Magnum revolver, a .38 Special Taurus Revolver, a 7.65mm Vzor pistol and 10 x 3.57mm rounds of ammunition, five x 9x19mm rounds of ammunition and 6×7,65mm rounds of ammunition were recovered at Ncube’s house.