N’anga, gang in gold heist 

Source: N’anga, gang in gold heist | The Herald

Victor Maphosa Herald Correspondent
A robbery syndicate coordinated by a traditional healer, whose role was reportedly to provide lucky charms to the criminals, has been arrested over a 1,8kg gold heist.

Persuade Maponga (45) of Epworth is accused of conniving with a gang of 12 suspected robbers to commit a spate of robberies in Nyanga.

They ran out of luck after robbing a Ruwangwe gold buyer Mr Raymond Chari of gold worth US$81 000.

Police investigations led to the arrest of the traditional healer, his brother Reason Maponga (47), Tengai Fungai (27) and Godfrey Njoromore (44).

Eight others are still at large.

The Epworth quartet appeared before Nyanga magistrate Mrs Anne Ndiraya facing robbery charges last Friday.

They were remanded in custody to today.

Prosecutor Mr Cuthbert Bhosha is representing the State.

Allegations against the traditional healer and his three accomplices arose on September 15 last year when they drove to Nyanga and robbed Mr Chari of his gold.

The traditional healer, according to the deal, was entitled to a share of the proceeds.

On September 14 last year, the traditional healer and Fungai allegedly hatched a plan to rob Mr Chari.

The traditional healer conscripted his brother Reason and Njorome who then teamed up with Christopher Nyakudya, two drivers and five others who are still at large.

They got into two vehicles and drove to Nyanga on September 15.

It is the State’s case that the gang broke into Mr Chari’s house using a hammer to force open the dining and bedroom doors.

The court heard that while inside the house, Reason and Njoromore attacked Mr Chari, tied him with a rope and severely assaulted him while demanding cash.

One of them took a kitchen knife and threatened to kill Mr Chari’s wife.

The jittery Mrs Chari surrendered keys to the safe.

The court heard that the robbers opened the safe and took 1 800 grammes of gold, $449 and 13 000 Mozambican meticais, four cellphones, a torch and car keys for a Toyota Mark X and that of a commuter omnibus.

The robbers ransacked the vehicles and stole more money before disappearing.

Mr Chari immediately made a police report at Ruwangwe Police Station.

Police investigations led to the arrest of traditional healer, and his brother Reason last week.

The two then implicated Fungai and Njoromore.