The three Zanu (PF) Bulawayo youths Hardlife Ndlovu, Ngobani Mlilo, Mthunzi Mabhena were accused of kidnapping and extorting money from touts (vanahwindi) who operate outside Mac’s Garage along the Masvingo / Bulawayo and the Bulawayo / Harare highways.
Allegations against the three Zanu (PF) youths are that on March 07 this year they kidnapped a group of touts into a blue commuter omnibus and drove it to Zanu (PF) Bulawayo Provincial headquarters at Davies Hall, where they demanded payment of US$50 per route daily.
They allegedly told the rank marshals that the money paid would be used to fuel all Zanu (PF) vehicles in the city daily.
In sentencing Ndlovu, Mlilo and Mabhena magistrate said “state prosecutors had provided strong evidence in court against the trio”.
The three Zanu (PF) youths had no lawyer representing them in court.
There has been an upsurge in number of Zanu (PF) members who are going around the city threatening businesspeople, ordinary people and occupying buildings in the past recent months claiming to be implementing Indigenization and Empowerment Act.
Last year several buildings owned by foreign business people were occupied by the party’s youths. Since June last year Zanu (PF) youths in Bulawayo have been seizing buildings located in the central business district owned by Indian and Italian families.
The buildings that have been invaded so far include Zambesia and Canberra Flats located between Leopold Takawira and Sixth Avenue and owned by Laloo family, also of Indian origin. The militant youths have also grabbed the Capri which houses the Pizzaghetti owned by Di Palma family who are of Italian origin.
The takeover of the buildings in Bulawayo caused divisions between the party’s provincial executive with some members denounce it.