Masendeke pleads guilty

The younger brother to the late notorious robber, Edgar Masendeke, yesterday pleaded guilty to seven counts of robbery, unlawful entry and kidnapping.
The late Masendeke and his accomplice, Stephen Chidhumo, made history as the only prisoners to escape from Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in 1995. The duo were hanged for a spate of armed robberies and murder.

Andrew Masendeke (21) of Mukarati Village in Gutu appeared before regional magistrate Morgan Nemadire facing three counts of robbery, two of unlawful entry and a further two for kidnapping.

He pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody to June 29 for sentencing.

Masendeke and his two accomplices, Matrimony Nyathi and Sydney Mangisi, both still at large, terrorised miners and businesspeople in Midlands and Bulawayo getting away with more than $25 000.

The other three accomplices, Tapiwa Chimuti (29), Anyway Madala (27) and Simbarashe Machiritsa of Ascot Infill, Gweru, were recently sentenced to a combined 188 years for similar crimes.

The court heard that on February 10 this year at around 8pm, the accused in the company of Chimuti went to a supermarket at Clonsilla, Gweru, where they produced a pistol threatening to shoot workers and stole $1 916 which was in the safe. They took another $532 which was on the table.

In another count and on February 19, near Kambasha business centre, Gokwe, the accused stopped Alfred Zvapera, a police officer based at Gokwe Traffic, pretending to be in need of transport.

When the complainant had stopped, the accused produced a pistol and demanded cash and other belongings.

The complainant surrendered his car, police identity card, Lenovo cellphone and $4 cash. The accused kidnapped the police officer and drove the car for a distance before dumping him.

The accused used the same modus operandi to steal from other victims in Shurugwi, Chiredzi and Gweru.

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