Source: Seven-year jail term for highway robbers | The Sunday News 29 DEC, 2019
Peter Matika, Senior Reporter
A POLICE officer and four accomplices who went on a three-day armed robbery spree in Gweru early this year, have been slapped with a seven-year jail term each for a spate of movie style robberies.
Constable Dumoluhle Mlandwa (24) of ZRP Kumalo in Bulawayo and was attached to United Bulawayo Hospitals Police Post, Denzel Chiwara (30), Elpidio Garikai Chabata (30), Vivian Prince Gatsi (21) and Mike Masotsha (21) were each handed seven-year jail terms by Gweru provincial magistrate, Mr Tavengwa Sangster, after they were found guilty of committing the robberies.
According to State papers between 19 July and 21 July, Cst Mlandwa, Chiwara, Chabata, Gatsi and Masotsha used a red Honda Fit vehicle to lure would-be passengers before robbing them of their valuables.
On 19 July at around 11pm, the gang allegedly robbed Mr Trust Langton Munyimiri who boarded their car in Gweru’s CBD on his way home to Athlone suburb.
He was allegedly assaulted and robbed of goods worth US$165 and RTGS$120.
After robbing Mr Munyimiri, the group stripped him naked, took his shoe laces and tied his hands before pushing him out of the vehicle while it was in motion.
On 20 July at around 1am, the gang picked up Mr Owen Magoyo who was intending to go to Lingfield area near Josiah Tungamirai Airbase from Total Garage in Gweru.
Mr Magoyo was told that the taxi was passing through Gweru Provincial Hospital. Along the way, one of the gang members produced an Okapi knife and robbed him of goods worth RTGS$700.
It was stated that they then made a U-turn before pushing him out of the vehicle.
On 21 July the gang went on to rob Mrs Zorodza Kapeza who had disembarked from a bus from South Africa, of a handbag and goods worth RTGS$4 000.
At around 4am the same day they offered a lift to Ms Simangele Gotore who was going to town from Mtapa suburb.
It is said when they reached Samanyanga Kiosk the vehicle made a U-turn before one of them demanded cash.
Ms Gotore fearing for her life gave them RTGS$150, US$22, R100 among other valuables.
The gang, using the same technique, then robbed several other residents from the city of cash and valuables.
The victims all made reports to the police who in turn launched investigations.
On 22 July, perhaps as fate would have it, police spotted the gang’s car parked along 6th Street. When they approached the vehicle, the gang fled on foot.
While fleeing Cst Mlandwa dropped his wallet, which contained his national identity card and a police identity card leading to the arrest of the gang.