Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter|
A robbery gang comprising two policemen, a soldier and cellphone dealers that had unleashed a reign of terror in Chitungwiza and Kuwadzana, using guns, machetes and axes, was yesterday remanded in custody.
During its criminal operations, the gang allegedly stole $29 350, US$6 310 and R12 000 from five victims.
Golden Magunje (30), based at Zimbabwe National Army Headquarters, is jointly charged with Watson Magodhi (37) stationed at Support Unit armoury and Ayanda Gumbo (28), also stationed at Support Unit Zulu Troop.
They allegedly committed the crimes in connivance with two cellphone dealers — Norest Hombarume (23) and Brendon Kupeta (23) — both based at Huruyadzo Shopping Centre in Chitungwiza.
Their alleged accomplices remain at large.
According to the State, Magunje bought a CZ pistol he was using to commit the crimes from Gumbo.
Magunje is facing other related charges and committed the latest offences while on bail.
The gang appeared before magistrate Mrs Rumbidzai Mugwagwa facing five counts of armed robbery.
They were remanded in custody to March 30, with instructions to approach the High Court for bail due to the gravity of their offences.
Harare lawyer Mr Tawanda Takaindisa from TK Takaindisa legal practitioners is appearing on their behalf.
Prosecutor Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti alleges that on August 26 last year, the gang went to a house in Zengeza 4, Chitungwiza, at 11pm and waylaid the victim who had just drove into her yard.
As she was closing the gate, the gang emerged from its hiding place and forced her to open the gate.
The victim ran away towards her house but was struck on the left shoulder with an axe and sustained a deep cut.
Another gang member fired a shot at her, but missed, it is alleged.
As she lay on the ground in a pool of blood, the gang allegedly searched her car and stole $6 700, various clothing items and 20 packets of dried kapenta.
They tried to break the door of her house with an axe and failed before running away.
The following day, the suspected armed robbers went to a house in Granary, in Harare, around midnight and broke in while the complainant was asleep.
While in the house, the State alleges that the accused persons who were armed with pistols, fired shots demanding the complainant to surrender cash.
The complainant surrendered US$20, $500, a television set, DVD recorder and cellphones.
After getting the loot, they drove away from the scene.
It is the State’s case that on January 4 this year, the gang proceeded to a house in St Mary’s, Chitungwiza, at around 8pm and pounced on an unsuspecting victim who was driving into her yard and confronted her just after parking.
The State alleges that the gang, fired shots demanding the complainant to get off the wheel.
One of them took over and kidnapped the woman before dumping her after some distance.
They allegedly stole her vehicle and cash amounting to $20 000, R12 000 and US$900 and mobile phones.
Using the same tactic, the gang allegedly connived and broke into a house in Kuwadzana around 0130hrs on February 7 while the complainant and her two daughters slept in separate bedrooms.
They broke the door using machetes and hammers and again fired shots at the woman, but slightly missed her.
The complainant was manhandled before they demanded money, prompting the complainant to surrender US$1 500.