An army captain with the Zimbabwe Defence Forces who is also chaplain at Mbalabala Barracks has been slapped with an effective three and a half years jail term after he was convicted of stealing a motor vehicle.
BY SILAS NKALA
The vehicle belonged to a Gwanda businessman and farmer based in South Africa.
Solomon Ndlovu denied the charges when he appeared before Gwanda regional magistrate Mark Dzira but was convicted after a full trial.
On Thursday the magistrate slapped him with a six-year jail term while two months of the sentence was suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour. A further six months was suspended on condition he paid the businessman $2 500. This left him to serve an effective three and a half years.
Ndlovu borrowed a Toyota Hilux vehicle from the businessman, Osfael Mazibuko, which he later stripped and stole the engine and gearbox.
He fitted the engine and gearbox onto another vehicle.
Mazibuko, who lives in Bulawayo, owns Fast Track Electrical Company in SA and runs farming and conservancy projects in Zimbabwe.
The state, represented by Munyonga Kuvarega, said that sometime in July 2016 while in Bulawayo, Ndlovu was given the Toyota Hilux by Mandla Sibanda, a manager at Mazibuko’s farm who had received instructions via the phone to do so from his boss (Mazibuko).
On March 30 last year, Ndlovu drove the car from Bulawayo to Zezane turnoff along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge road.
He then contracted a motor mechanic named Norbet Mazhambe, who is employed by one Lizwe Ndlovu to remove the vehicle’s engine and gearbox.
Mazhambe removed the engine and gearbox as instructed before fitting them onto a Mazda B2200 vehicle.
It is said that Ndlovu then dumped the Toyota Hilux body at Zezane turnoff without the knowledge of Mazibuko. The crime was discovered when Dennis Ndlovu found the vehicle body dumped and called Mazibuko. A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of the army cleric.