ZANU PF Filabusi district chairperson Arthur Nhliziyo from Lobela village has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for hijacking at gunpoint two Zambia-registered haulage trucks carrying copper.
Nhliziyo appeared before Bulawayo regional magistrate Dambudzo Malunga charged with armed robbery.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, of which two were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
Prosecutor Naison Chivayo told the court that sometime in October 2021 at night, Kelvin Simpasa and Talent Mako were driving Zambia-registered trucks from Lusaka headed for Durban in South Africa along the Victoria Falls-Bulawayo Road.
The two were in a convoy of other Zambian trucks from Galco Transport and Logistics Limited loaded with 30 tonnes each of copper cathodes worth US$40 080.
Along the journey, Mako parked at a junction waiting for other trucks to catch up.
While Mako was waiting, a silver Honda Fit parked in front of his truck and four men came out, two of them armed with guns.
They held Mako at gunpoint and took his cellphone worth US$100, passport, gas tank and US$200.
They then hijacked the truck. They noticed another truck, which was being driven by Simpasa was following, they stopped.
Assuming it was Mako, Simpasa stopped and the hijackers pounced. They covered his head with a sack, tied him up, and hijacked his truck after robbing him of his belongings.
Mako and Simpasa were tied and abandoned in one of the trucks at Kuravi business centre in Mashava and the armed robbers drove off with two trailers of copper concentrates.
The matter was reported to the Criminal Investigations Department at Mandamabwe Police Station in Mashava and was referred to Bulawayo.