Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
LUCK finally ran out for two suspected Norton armed robbers who had terrorised various parts of the city stealing motor vehicles, cash and other valuables amounting to US$86 455 and $193 675.
Each time the two struck in the company of their six alleged accomplices who are on the run, they would threaten to shoot their victims whom they stripped of valuables at gunpoint.
They allegedly committed the offences while armed with AK47 rifles and pistols.
George Gift Dandemutande (28) and Robson Manezho (30), both of Marshlands Norton, appeared in court on Thursday facing four counts of armed robbery and one of unlawful entry.
The two appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Richard Ramaboa, who remanded them in custody and advised them to apply for bail at the High Court owing to the gravity of their offences.
They will be back in court on May 14.
On the first count, prosecutor Mr George Manokore alleged that the eight-member gang waylaid businessman Mr Farai Mwaita just after midnight on his way home from his shop.
They held him hostage before robbing him of $2 800, US$1 100 and five mobile phones.
The gang also stole command agriculture vouchers for 6,8 tonnes Compound D fertiliser, 6,8 tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate and agriculture chemicals, which were in his car.
They allegedly took Mr Mwaita to his bar where they loaded cartons of cigarettes and crates of beer and whiskey into his Nissan Hardbody and drove off.
In total, Mr Mwaita lost cash and valuables amounting to US$30 000 and $2 800.
On March 29, at around 6pm, the gang, the court heard, went to Mr Musa Phiri’s house where it manhandled him together with his family.
One of the gang members fired a shot at Mr Phiri, which grazed part of his face.
They allegedly ransacked the house and stole US$21 785 and $200 cash.
They further stole a pistol, three laptops, seven cellphones and an assortment of groceries which they loaded into Mr Phiri’s Toyota Hilux double cab and drove away.
The value of property stolen at Mr Phiri’s house is US$56 455.
On Independence Day, the gang allegedly pounced on Ephraim Masongo at around 10pm and tied his hands and legs before stealing his mobile phone.
They broke into three shops in Norton and stole $6 600 cash, a television set, a radio set, crates of beer, cartons of cigarettes and foodstuffs valued at $42 245.
A few hours later, they robbed Pearson Mabhaudhi of cash and his vehicle, a Nissan Tilder, all valued at $137 430.
It is the State’s case that using the same method, the gang broke into Mr Luckmore Kamuteku’s butchery and went away with meat, crates of soft drinks and beers, z laptop and maize worth $11 000.
Investigations led to Dandemutande and Manezho’s arrest who were found with part of the stolen goods.
Datendemutande was found with one of the pistols which were being used during the commission of the offences.
On Thursday, two other suspected members of a nine-member gang, Sydney Chimiti (27) and Prince Gawe (25) appeared before the same courts charged with armed robbery.
The pair allegedly stole US$49 000, R9 000, $7 000 and a Toyota Mark X from a Harare family while posing as potential clients for detergents.
Another gang of robbers allegedly fed with information by an inside accomplice, robbed a Harare businessman of US$59 000, by pretending to be police officers enforcing lockdown regulations and then two of them squandered the money on Mercedes Benz vehicles.
Simba Kanyepi (24), Hemish Chagadama (32) and Shingai Mazviwanza (29) allegedly connived to rob Mr Luke Kwezera of his money, with Kanyepi keeping the robbery gang posted on Mr Kwezera’s movements with money.
They appeared in court on Monday charged with robbery.
Mashwede Holdings also recently lost over US$100 000, R42 000 and $14 000 worth of fuel coupons to five workers and nine suspected robbers, who ransacked safes at the premises before vanishing with two firearms and 20 live rounds of ammunition.
The gang appeared in court recently.