Three people who looted and burnt shops have been jailed in Bulawayo. They were sent down for a combined seven years.

Liberty Moyo (28), Clarence Mudavanhu (34) and Witness Ndlovu (42) were convicted of public violence and theft. Moyo and Mudavanhu were sentenced to an effective two years in jail each after one year from their sentences was suspended for five years on condition that they do not within that period commit similar offences.

Ndlovu was sentenced to 12 months of which six months were conditionally suspended for five years.

Moyo and Mudavanhu were part of a mob that broke into a shop in Nketa 6 suburb and looted goods. Ndlovu was among a group of protesters who invaded TM Pick n Pay Supermarket in Cowdray Park and looted groceries.

The magistrate condemned the actions of the accused persons, saying Zimbabwe is a peaceful country. He said those involved in violence and lawlessness should be incarcerated.

“The accused persons engaged in acts of violence and they deserve a custodial sentence. Zimbabwe is a peaceful country where violence should not be condoned. Lawlessness will not be tolerated. It is therefore the duty of courts to ensure that peace and tranquility prevail in the country through sending perpetrators of violence to jail,” ruled the magistrate.