Zvikomborero Parafini 

A TOUT, who participated in infamous US$720 000 Quest Financial Services robbery, was yesterday sentenced to 12 years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to the offence.

Obvious Kuwanza (28) remained expressionless as he was sentenced by regional magistrate Estere Chivasa.

The court heard that on February 23, Quest Financial Services Head of Operations, Daniel Mandizvidza, knocked off work and made sure that all doors were locked. 

He left US$720 676, R10 500, 120 Euros, and other valuables, locked in a vault and assigned Lancelot Tashayawedu, a private security guard who manned the premises overnight, to secure the property as always.

At about 1am the next day, Kuwanza and his accomplices, who are awaiting trial and some others who are at large, connived to rob the premises, armed with various weapons.

They attacked the guard, who was asleep in one of the rooms, at the back of the main building and threatened to harm him, if he resisted. 

They tied his hands and legs with an electric cable together with his girlfriend. 

One of the gang members was left guarding him while others proceeded to the main office building and used an iron bar to break open one of the windows and gained entry into the main building.

They used detonators to blast open the vault and stole US$720 676, R10 500, 120 Euros and a 7.65mm CZ Vzor pistol.

Police officers attended to the scene and obtained the CCTV footage and, as they were scrutinising it, one of the detectives identified three of Kuwanza’s accomplices — Washington Mangwanda, Brighton Chikukwa and Silence Matambo, whom he knew for a long time in Mbare area. 

A manhunt for them was launched and Mangwanda was arrested in Ardbennie and cash amounting to US$21 000 was recovered from him.

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