Loveness Mpofu, Sunday News Reporter
FOUR men from Bulawayo have been sentenced to a combined 48 months imprisonment for kidnapping a tout, whom they accused of assaulting one of them.

Macwethi Mabhena (30), Ngqabutho Mabhena (38) both from Woodville suburb, Bhekizulu Gumbo (23) and Jonas Ngwenya (35) from North End suburb, ganged up to kidnap and assault Mr Melusi Sibanda, a tout operating at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Robert Mugabe Way in the city.

The quartet is said to have been in the company of an unidentified man who is still at large.

They pleaded guilty to kidnap and assault charges before Bulawayo regional magistrate Mr Joseph Mabeza last week.

Mr Mabeza sentenced each of them to 12 months imprisonment, which was wholly suspended for five years on condition that they do not commit a similar offence.

Prosecuting, Mr Tinanshe Dzipe told the court that on 25 March in the afternoon, the four men approached Mr Sibanda whom they accused of having earlier assaulted Gumbo.

The four shoved Mr Sibanda in the boot of a Honda Fit they were travelling in.

The court heard that the quartet went on to assault him, before releasing him after their car ran out of fuel while they were still in town.

The court heard that the incident was witnessed by Mr Charles Ndlovu, who reported the matter to the police, leading to the arrest of the men.-@lvydvy1