Heist Mastermind’s Son Awaits Bail Ruling Today:
The Heist mastermind’s son and cousin who were arrested for obstructing the course of justice after alleged burial and digging up of US$100 000 suspected to be part of the $2,7 million stolen from a ZB Bank cash van will find out today if they will receive bail.
The money, allegedly buried by Job Njowa, son to suspected robbery mastermind Shadreck Njowa, at the family’s rural homestead in Mudakuenda Village in Mhondoro at 9 pm on January 18 was allegedly dug up at 4 am the next morning by his cousin Tichaona Njowa, who spent it at a nearby business centre.
Tichaona went on spending spree evidenced by him buying a second car when the first one he had bought developed a mechanical fault. This attracted the attention of the police who arrested him and led to the arrest of his cousin.
The son to the mastermind, Job Njowa (23), a Midlands State University student, appeared in court on Monday on obstruction of course of justice charges while his cousin Tichaona appeared the same day separately on theft charges.
Both were remanded in custody to today when magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi is expected to rule on his bail application.
Job reportedly disappeared from his Highfield residence in Harare with his father soon after the robbery.
He was represented by lawyer Mr Steady Kachere and denied involvement in the robbery saying he was only a college student at Midlands State University and was not in the village on the day the money was allegedly found at their rural homestead.
On January 6, his father and other members of the ZB Bank cash-in-transit crew were tasked to deliver money to some of the bank’s branches countrywide.
Investigators believe the robbery was staged along the Harare-Chinhoyi Road after Nyabira Business Centre.
On January 18, Job and his father left Harare for their rural home in Mhondoro.
Upon their arrival, Shadreck allegedly ordered his son to hide US$100 000 underground.
Job placed the money in a pot, wrapped it and hid it underground.
It was when he was digging that Tichaona Njowa spotted him as he was walking home along a footpath at around 9 pm.
Knowing that Job’s father was wanted in connection with the heist, Tichaona then woke up around 4 am and stole the money.
The court heard that another villager, Luxury Nakumwa, spotted Tichaona as he was stealing the money which Job had allegedly hidden.
It was alleged that Tichaona gave Nakumwa US$5 000 to buy his silence.
Prosecuting, Mrs Stylone Marufu said Tichaona left his homestead and went to Turf in Ngezi where he bought a Honda Fit car for US$2 900 and went on a spending spree, booking lodges around Turf and splashing out cash.
Tichaona’s lavish lifestyle in Turf raised suspicion, especially after he bought the second car, and police took him for questioning.
He then revealed that he had stolen the money from Job and was allegedly found in possession of US$15 000 upon his arrest.