Zimbabwean Robber Loses Appeal, Gets Jailed for 10 Years in Botswana

Zimbabwean man, Thabo Ngwenya has lost his appeal at the Botswana High Court.



The pair was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2019 for robbing Wu Xungsheng of P18 550, plus cellphones and other appliances valued at P49 730 on September 26, 2017 at Letlhakane village.


The pair was arrested after they threw chilli powder into the eyes of a Chinese businesswoman before robbing her.


Ngwenya was given an extra year in jail for entering Botswana illegally at or near Matsiloje village in 2017, but is serving that concurrently with the longer robbery sentence, just about the only concession the trial court made.


The High Court has, however, allowed the almost two years the two spent in custody on remand to count towards the 10 years.


The trial court in Letlhakane said it considered the seriousness of the offence when sentencing the pair.


In his appeal Ngwenya unsuccessfully argued the magistrate was biased and relied on the evidence of the cellphone that he and Macheng left at the scene of crime.


Ngwenya had opted to remain silent during trial while Macheng gave sworn evidence.


On the other hand, Macheng’s ground of appeal was that the trial court erred by holding that the robbed woman was credible when she gave her evidence and Ngwenya felt that using the dropped cellphone as evidence was wrong.


Ms Wu told the court that the robbers came to her house in Letlhakane claiming that they had been sent by the church to do some maintenance works inside.


She was reluctant to open the door, but agreed. The pair of robbers then tied her arms and legs and then put chilli powder into her eyes.


They then demanded money, Justice Matlhogonolo Phuthego said when dismissing the appeal, noting the two were arrested an hour after robbing Ms Wu.