Suspected robber shot, loses manhood

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A Bulawayo trio- that included a man who lost his manhood after being shot at by police during his arrest for allegedly committing armed robbery- was last week acquitted of the crime at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Courts.

Robson Senziwayo (24) of Entumbane, Webson Sibanda (27) and Surprise Phiri were arrested in December 2012 for robbing cashiers at a local service station of $1 161 in cash, Buddie and Telecel recharge cards and two cellphones at gunpoint.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges before magistrate Mark Dzira at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Courts.

Their lawyer, Tungamirai Nyengera, Monday told The Zimbabwe Mail that the court ruled that the state had failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.

During the course of the trial, the accused trio alleged that they were brutally assaulted by the police who arrested them.

Police alleged that they shot at Senziwayo in the abdomen and Phiri on his leg after they tried to evade arrest.

As a result of being shot at by police, Senziwayo’s testicles ruptured.

According to the defence lawyer, Senziwayo’s testicles were ripped off when he was shot at by police.

“Upon arrest, one of the accused, Senziwayo , was shot in the abdomen area and he lost his manhood. This happened at his house in Entumbane, and in front of his parents,” said Nyengera.

“The two suspects were just shot at; they were not trying to escape. It is funny that the police indicated that after his arrest, Senziwayo led them to the other suspects. One wonders how he was able to do that because when he was shot at, he became unconscious, he was actually lying in blood.”

Nyengera said the matter of alleged police brutality had been referred to the Constitutional Court and is still pending.

He said the regional magistrate last week acquitted the three, noting that the accusations raised were baseless.

“The magistrate noted as some of the reasons for acquittal that the identification parade in which one of the accused persons had been identified was not conducted properly. There were also conflicting statements from the witnesses. One of the witnesses clearly failed to identify anyone during the identification parade,” he said.

The third accused, Sibanda, told the court that detectives confiscated $400 and R55 000 during his arrest, but the money was never produced in court as exhibit.

It was the state’s case that on December 9 2012 the three, in the company of two other accomplices, pounced on a fuel station at the corner of Josiah Tongogara Street and 12th Avenue in Bulawayo armed with a pistol.

They threatened to shoot three employees who were inside the shop counting the day’s takings and robbed them of $1 161, 33 in cash, 191 Buddie and 414 Telecel airtime strips, plus two cellphones.

After allegedly stealing from them, the suspects reportedly force-marched the employees into a storeroom and closed the door before fleeing in their getaway car.

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