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State witness not off the hook

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NOT SO FREE: Mhiwatiwa

A key state witness in a 2015 Kanye armed robbery incident in which a police officer and one suspect were shot dead, has been accused of master minding the robbery.

Zimbabwean national, 46-year-old Evans Mhiwatiwa, has further been warned that he may face charges relating to the crime if the court makes such a determination at the end of the trial.

Mhiwatiwa who is also a traditional doctor, took to the witness box on Thursday and Friday to explain what transpired on the bloody day of 29 January 2015, when he was “hired” by seven men to transport them from Gaborone to Kanye to rob a cash loan operator.

He explained to the court that, a certain Patrick whom he knew through a friend offered to pay him P2000.00 to transport him and his friends to Kanye.

He said he was later ordered to go via Molepolole to pick others.

In total he carried seven passengers to Kanye’s old shopping complex where he was told to go in first to inquire about one of the employees.

Although he maintains he had no plans to take part in the criminal activity, the court found it very suspicious for him to have failed to fore warn the cash loan operator when he had time.

“You went in (into the cash loan) because you wanted to buy time. I think it was a perfect crime gone bad. You had all it takes to plan the attack. First, you are a traditional doctor, you’d bewitch everybody including the cops, you’d walk into the shop and nobody will suspect you because you are well known. You have stayed in Kanye before so you could drive as you know your way around!” Justice Zein Kebonang put it to the witness.

The court further wanted to know why Mhiwatiwa accepted to be given an equal share of the loot with the robbers if he was not part of the crime plan.

In fact one of the attorneys, Onalethata Kambai of Kambai attorneys suggested that it was Mhiwatiwa who plotted the whole robbery.

He alleged that according to other witnesses who are still to testify before court, it was Mhiwatiwa who went to Zimbabwe, met the other accused persons to discuss the plot.

Allegedly he further transported them from Plumtree and accommodated them at his house in Gabane a night before the robbery.

When they encountered the police near Mmakgodumo dam, just outside Kanye, it was him who was driving.

Mhiwatiwa alleges that it was his country man, Mayibongwe Moyo who fired a fatal shot at the 30-year-old Police officer who was driving the police vehicle.

Nonetheless, the state evidence suggests that the bullet retrieved from the cop’s body was from a gun which was supposedly in possession of Surprise Phiri, a suspect who was shot dead at the scene.

The trial is set to continue from 10th December, 2018 with the state calling in more witnesses.

Initially Mhiwatiwa was charged alongside three other accused persons, Gaofenngwe Lovy Seitiso, 39, Thuso Moses Tankomane 33, and Mayibongwe Moyo, but has since turned state witness.

ACCUSED: Murder and robbery suspects

They are facing several counts of robbery, one count of murder and one count of attempted murder.