HARARE – It has emerged that one of the armed robbers involved in a shoot-out with police officers that claimed the life of one civilian is a habitual criminal who always got away with bail.
The habitual robber, Prince Makodza, is currently on the run. His accomplices Cletos Mazhewe,37, Tadziya Dzvairo,26, Respect Mwale, 30, Ben Mashingaidze, 39, and Carrington Mutevera, 38, appeared in court on Saturday and were denied bail.
They are facing armed robbery and attempted murder charges.
Makodza has been in-and-out of jail over armed robbery cases. He was part of the gang of armed robbers that pounced on a local businessman, robbing him of over $100 000 cash wearing solders’ regalia at his Borrowdale house on December 16, last year.
After being apprehended and brought before the court on January 23, this year, Makodza successfully applied for bail at the High Court before becoming a fugitive from justice.
He was also part of a gang that pounced on Blue Circle company premises in Willowvale in August last year and blasted safes containing $55 000 after stabbing the security guard.
In that matter, Makodza was jointly charged with Liberty Mupamhanga, 23, Aaron Nyamajiwa, 31, Munyaradzi Chikarara, 36, Vincent Kondo, 40, Adam Kapalasa, 40, and Taurai Dzingai, 48. He also fled the court’s jurisdiction after getting bail at the High Court.
At that moment, Makodza and his accomplices were also on the Kwekwe police wanted list after they were caught on closed circuit television committing another robbery in that town.
In August 2016, Makodza teamed up with Alouis Nyamadzawo, Shadreck Madzima and Munyaradzi Chikaka, and armed themselves with a pick and two five-pound hammers while driving in a Nissan Hardbody ABA 1699.
It was alleged that they went to Total Service Station in Warren Park 1 and tied two security guards’ hands at the back before carrying them to the back of the building.
A hammer was used to break-open a wall cash safe containing $8 500 and another Chubb safe in the shop, containing $3 500 before they fled from the scene.
Between 2014 and 2016, Makodza was serving a two-and-half-year jail time after being convicted of armed robbery. That marked the beginning of his criminal career.
Together, with Alouis Nyamadzawo and Knowledge Kamucheche, Makodza broke into Glen Norah B branch of Glad Tidings Church in Harare and stole a safe containing $30 000.
Harare regional magistrate Hoseah Mujaya sentenced the trio to six years before trimming the sentence down to two-and-half-years on condition that Makodza and his accomplices compensate the complainants.
In the latest attack, prosecutor Linda Gadzikwa alleged that on March 22, Makodza and his accomplices pounced on Munyaradzi Tafirei at Revive Beverages Offices and shot him on the left shoulder before robbing him of $700.
On March 27, Makodza and his gang allegedly approached Zhao Hong Wen in Ardbernie and shot him in the chest and left wrist before fleeing with his $600 and a pistol.
On April 6, the robbers went to WEIXI Minning Investments and threatened people who were in the shop with guns, before ordering them to lie down.
They began searching people, seizing their cash and belongings. The owner, Wang Feng Qing, approached the till unaware that a robbery was in progress and was shot on
the right shoulder and fell down.
They ransacked the shop and went away with cash and property valued at $30 642.
The following day, Makodza and his gang allegedly attacked Pafungei Mhepo who had disembarked from a kombi in Unit O Seke, Chitungwiza and introduced themselves as police officers demanding to do a body search on him.
One of the accused persons produced a pistol and pointed it at him before seizing a bag containing $2 200 and three T-shirts.
The total value of property and cash stolen from Mhepo was $3 400. Only $100 was recovered.