Source: No bail for $56k heist cops | The Herald August 5, 2016
Tendai Rupapa : Senior Court Reporter
Four of the six policemen who reportedly connived with five civilians and mounted a fake roadblock in Belvedere, Harare, where they robbed an Indian businessman over $56 000 have not been reporting for duty after their colleagues were arrested in connection with the case, the court heard yesterday. Investigations carried out so far revealed that after robbing Mr Junaid Pervaiz, the 11 suspects splashed the loot on vehicles about four hours later.The cars, which were all bought on July 27, include a Mercedes Benz, Toyota Altezza and a Mazda Familia.
Three of the suspects — Dickson Morosi (32), Kundai Makwarimba (35) and Fortune Sibanda (29) — were yesterday denied bail by magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe who ruled that there was overwhelming evidence against them.
They are now facing robbery charges after the State successfully applied to have the charge altered from theft.
Prosecutor Mr George Manokore advised the court that the facts which formed the case, revealed robbery. The other eight suspects were still at large.
Mr Manokore opposed bail on the basis that the State’s case was strong.
He called the investigating officer Detective Inspector Joseph Nemaisa, who took to the witness stand and concurred with the prosecution that there was overwhelming evidence against the trio.
“There are eight suspects who are on the run and among them are police officers who are not even reporting at work,” he said.
“The affidavits which were authored as agreements of sale between the accused persons and car sale owners were recovered and we are in possession of them. The affidavits showed that the vehicles were bought just four hours after the robbery.”
Det Insp Nemaisa said if released on bail, the trio was likely to abscond or interfere with investigations.
“Your worship, the accused persons are facing a serious offence which upon conviction, they face a lengthy prison term. This might induce fear in them and force them to flee the jurisdiction.
“They led us to the recovery of the vehicles that they bought with the proceeds. They also led us to the recovery of the complainant’s car keys and this shows that there is a nexus between the accused persons and the crime,” he said.
Through their lawyer, Mr Tawanda Takaendesa, the trio told the court that they were proper candidates for bail. They argued that at this stage they were presumed innocent until proven guilty.
However, Mr Mahwe ruled in favour of the State saying it would not be in the interest of justice to grant them bail.
According to the State, the gang knew that Mr Pervaiz was transporting money from his shop to his house in Belvedere and hatched a plan to rob him.
Makwarimba and Sibanda are stationed at Harare Central Police Station and Police Protection Unit Escorts at Morris Depot respectively while Morosi’s brother — who is still at large — is also a policeman.
Acting in connivance and in pursuance to their plan, the gang, the court heard, drove in a silver Toyota Spacio and a Honda Fit both without registration number plates and waylaid him along Hudson Road, Belvedere.
They had mounted a fake roadblock with two of them wearing police uniforms and traffic reflective sleeves. As the complainant approached the “roadblock” while driving his Toyota Runx, he was flagged down by the gang and he complied.
The court further heard that they forcibly pulled out his car keys from the ignition and searched his vehicle. They found a black satchel which was at the back passenger’s seat and demanded to know its contents. One of the accused persons then opened the satchel and found cash amounting to $56 800. They suddenly grabbed the bag and jumped into their getaway cars and drove off.