Quartet’s reign of terror ends

Source: Quartet’s reign of terror ends | Herald (Africa)

Fidelis Munyoro

Chief Court Reporter

A four-man gang that had unleashed a reign of terror in Harare, robbing unsuspecting commuters of their cash and valuables, has been rearrested on six more armed robbery charges.

More charges are expected as more complainants are surfacing.

Two brothers — Confess and Russell Samkange — Leo Baureni and Tinashe Dziyike are battling to get bail at the High Court. When they first appeared at the magistrates courts charged with one count of armed robbery and three counts of plain robbery, they were advised to approach the High Court for bail. Their bail hearing was heard on Tuesday, but was postponed to this Friday to allow the State to respond to their application.

However, the quartet was this week arrested again and appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Barbara Mateko facing six fresh charges of armed robbery.

They were once again advised to approach the High Court for bail.

The State is opposing bail arguing that the suspects are likely to abscond if granted bail pending trial. According to the State, it has overwhelming evidence including recovered property, thus due to the strength of the State case, the four are likely not to stand trial if granted bail thereby jeopardising the interest of justice.

To bolster its case to deny the four bail, the State argues that Confess Samkange, who was arrested wearing a police uniform, interfered with evidence after his arrest.

He was detained in his police uniform. However, due to his privilege of being a police officer, a civilian T-shirt was smuggled into the police cells and his grey shirt was smuggled out by his relatives working in cahoots with members of ZRP Rhodesville.

Although Dziyike later handed himself to the police, he fled during their arrest.

He fled with 8 stolen cell phones which he later disposed of destroying part of the evidence against him.

Charges against the four arose on November 23 last year, when the complainant in count one was waiting for lifts at Fourth Street intending to go to Mabvuku. The four allegedly connived and acting in common purpose hatched a plan to rob complainant.

While driving a black Honda Fit, with no registration numbers, the gang went to Fourth Street and pretended as genuine transporters.

Unsuspectingly, the complainant boarded the vehicle, which was occupied by the driver only, while his accomplices acted as genuine passengers. On their way along Robert Mugabe, they diverted route into Glenara Avenue where they robbed the complainant of his valuables including cellphone, US$40 and other items at knife point.

However, the four were arrested on December 22 last year leading to the recovery of a business card belonging to Colonel Andrew Ushe, which was positively identified by the complainant. Using the same modus operandi, the gang committed a string of robberies in and around the city.

The Samkange brothers are being represented by Mr Tinashe Mbala of Nyawo, Ruzive Attorneys while Baureni and Dziyike are being represented by Mr Edmore Mujaya of Pundu and Company.