The eight — Often Makamani (70), Douglas Magadzike (29), Agripa Manjeya (25), Maxwell Gudza (38), Sylvester Mukumba (38), Blessing Fore (28), Gwinyai Haadi Kuhudzai (39) and Enock Madhorobha (23) — appeared before Mr Trynos Utahwashe who found them guilty after a full trial.
Mr Mike Tembo prosecuted.
Makamani was slapped with a four-year jail term, with one year suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence in the next five years. His other accomplices were jailed five years each and one year was suspended on the usual conditions. Initially they were charged with robbery and kidnapping.
Allegations were that on January 3, the accused persons hatched a plan to rob Joubert Crushers (Pvt) Limited of its property.
They got dressed in T-shirts which were printed "Zanu-PF" which they concealed by putting on jackets and proceeded to Jourbert.
"On arrival, they proceeded to the sales office where they took off their jackets and remained with T-shirts. The ring leader, Makamani proceeded to a heap of crushed concrete stones and erected a stick which had a Zimbabwean flag. He assembled all workers at the company and told them that the company had been taken over under Zanu-PF's indigenisation and black empowerment programme," said Mr Tembo.
The accused persons claimed to be vibrant Zanu-PF activists.
"As Makamani was addressing the workers and dismissing them, the other accused persons got into the office of Alleta Joubert and Henry Paul White and threatened to kill them if they did not surrender firearms, cash and keys to the offices and cars. They ransacked the offices and stole cash amounting to $2 226, one blue jacket and a Nokia C3 cell phone. While at the premise, one of the accused persons sold 15 cubes of concrete to Laina Sharara of House Number 448, Area 14, Dangamvura for $750. The accused issued her with a receipt as proof of payment and pocketed the money.
"The accused persons then ordered the complainants to lead them to their place of residence which is Number 17, Carrington, Darlington, Mutare, using a Mazda B2200 which belonged to the complainants. Enock Dhorobha drove the complainants to their house," reads the State papers.
On arrival, the accused persons ordered Henry Paul White to lock up the dogs so that they would not harm them.
They ordered Alletta to lead them into their bedroom where they stole three suitcases full of clothes, a blackberry cell phone, Nokia cell phone, Nokia navigator cell phone and a Nokia 1201 cell phone.
"They went on to loot a car washing machine, three grinders, one drilling machine and a pulley machine which they loaded into the car.
They went on to order White to drive one of his motor vehicles a Mercedes Benz with South Africa registration numbers Y25994 to Dora Pinto where they intended to collect safe keys from the company manager, Mr Petros Zimunya. Alletta was left under the guard of the other accused persons, while Henry Paul drove them to Dora Pinto. The other vehicle which had the stolen property was driven by the accused persons to Dangamvura where they abandoned it with the stolen property."
An employee at the company alerted Andres Joubert, who then made a police report. The accused persons were arrested and all the stolen property valued at $25 226 was recovered. It later emerged that the Zanu-PF T-shirts that were used in the robbery had been stolen at a Women's League netball tournament held at a nearby rural settlement.