BUSINESSMAN OFFERS TO PAY FEES FOR ARMED ROBBER’S KIDS. . . the two come face-to-face in court

Zvikomborero Parafini

ONE of the victims of notorious armed robber, Calvin Gasura, came face-to-face with his family’s tormentor in court during a pre-sentence hearing yesterday.

Gasura was convicted of armed robbery by Harare magistrate, Fadzai Mtombeni, after a full trial on Monday.

He was sentenced to nine years imprisonment yesterday.

Businessman Hazvinei Mutasa, who is the owner of Giant Petroleum, was called to the witness stand in aggravation.

He told the court that although his children were still traumatised by the robbery, he was willing to assist Gasura during incarceration.

“I lost property worth about US$36 000 and nothing was recovered, but let me share with the court what’s happening at my home ever since this robbery.

“Your Worship, my children are traumatised. They are always playing a ‘game’ in which they re-enact what happened during the robbery.

“One day, when I returned home from work, I ran over a ball my kids had left in the driveway and it burst. They locked all the doors thinking that it was a gunshot.

“My children are haunted by gunshot sounds. This man is a threat to society and should be locked away to reform,” Mutasa.

Magistrate Mtombeni asked Mutasa what he thought would be the proper sentence.

“I’m touched because I’m also a father. I can pay school fees for his children while he’s in prison, he deserves to be in custody,” Mutasa responded.

Gasura told the court in mitigation that he has two children and has been in custody for three years.

Magistrate Mtombeni said the law provides for a sentence guided by the nature in which the crime was committed.

“Where the robbery was committed under aggravation, the court must consider if the person was in possession of a firearm and threats to inflict bodily harm.

“Accused stands convicted of a very serious offence of armed robbery. He used a firearm and threatened to shoot complainant in the presence of his children and wife.

“He pleaded not guilty and was convicted after a full trial in which complainant told the court that he was robbed by a group of men at his home and there were gunshots before, during and after the robbery.

“Complainant’s pistol and other valuables were stolen. There was about US$10 000 that was in the ceiling and US$20 000 in the house.

“He (Gasura) was arrested eight days later.

“The court took note that in the current case there are aggravating features because the property taken is of high value and nothing was recovered and there were threats of serious injury,” said magistrate Mtombeni.

Prosecutor Cecilia Mashingaidze proved that on November 10, 2020, Mutasa was at his gate talking to his builders when he was attacked by Gasura and his accomplices.

They fired a gunshot and ordered them to lie down and searched Mutasa and took his Browning pistol which had seven rounds.

They force-marched him into his yard demanding money.

They allegedly broke the main door, which was locked using a hammer and fired a shot inside the house before assaulting Mutasa’s wife using a baton stick.

They led Mutasa upstairs and took US$30 000, car keys and a CCTV hard drive.

They fled in Mutasa’s car, which they later dumped in Vhera Village, Seke.

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