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Police recover looted goods, culprits in court

by Staff reporter
19 Jan 2019 at 11:20hrs | Views
POLICE in Bulawayo recovered property and groceries worth thousands of dollars in Entumbane suburb that were looted by violent demonstrators.

The recovered goods include stoves, refrigerators, freezers, a plough, shoes, exercise books, alcohol and groceries.

Bulawayo provincial deputy police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the recovery of the property and goods. He said 14 suspected looters aged between 16 and 42 had been arrested.

"On Thursday at about 4PM at ZRP Entumbane Bulawayo, a crack team comprising details from the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Support Unit and the Duty Uniform Branch (DUB) arrested 14 accused persons who were found in possession of goods which were looted during demonstrations on Monday and Tuesday.

"Some of the goods were recovered and brought to Entumbane Police Station for safe keeping and further management," said Insp Ncube.

He expressed concern over the behaviour exhibited by some members of the public. Insp Ncube said police were working to bring all culprits to book.

"As ZRP Bulawayo province we're saddened by the behaviour of hooligans who went on a looting spree and attacked even police officers without any provocation. We're working flat out to bring the looters to book so that they face the full wrath of the law," he said.

Insp Ncube said police were aware that not everyone took part in violent demonstrations and looting sprees. He appealed for information that may lead to the arrest of the looters. "We're therefore appealing to the peace loving citizens to work with the police in identifying and apprehending the culprits.

"We're also worried to learn that juveniles aged between 13 and16 were actively involved in these activities. We urge parents to whip their children into line or else their lives would be doomed if they graduate into thugs," said Insp Ncube.

He said police would appreciate any piece of information that could help them bring closure to the barbaric behaviour. The 14 accused are suspected to be part of a mob that unleashed violence in Bulawayo, burning cars, property and looting shops during demonstrations that were instigated by the opposition.

Choppies Supermarkets in New Lobengula and Entumbane were burnt in the protests while the Pumula and Lobengula West branches were looted. Chicken Corner in Tshabalala was also targeted. There were also reports of looting from shops in Nkulumane, Lobengula, Pumula, Emganwini, Luveve, Magwegwe, Sizinda and other areas.

Meanwhile, 24 people who were part of a mob that allegedly looted shops in Bulawayo's western suburbs appeared in court yesterday for public violence and unlawful entry. They allegedly broke into several shops at Entumbane Shopping Mall and at a butchery in Donnington West before looting various groceries among other goods.

The accused persons appeared separately at Western Commonage and Tredgold magistrates' courts for bail application.

Nomore Mutare (24), Alex Shumba (30), Audrey Khumalo (23), Destiny Khumalo(18), Henry Matarutse (20), Zivanai Kamudzati (24), Aaron Machona, Tadiwa Taderera, Prosper Ndlovu (22), Nozipho Ngwenya (19), Nhlanhla Nkiwane (33), Miriam Tshuma (32), Essie Munkuli (33), Mariah Tshamala (19), Alfred Zihove (16), Sheila Moyo (62), Anna Colleta Chihava (18), Themba Ncube (37) and Gift Moyo (38) appeared before Western Commonage magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube in connection with the alleged looting of groceries, generators, alcohol, plasma television sets among other items at Entumbane Shopping Mall.

Tafara Sithole (19) of Donnington West, Austin Chida (33) of Nketa 9, Mike Masvinu (38) of Donnington West, Mannerd Kufakunesu (32) and Shepherd Muhanyi (20) all of Nkulumane 5 suburb appeared at Tredgold magistrates' court before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Sithembiso Ncube charged with public violence.

They were arrested while allegedly fleeing from police after looting Donnington West Meats Butchery. The State opposed bail, arguing that the accused persons were not proper candidates for bail given the gravity of the alleged offences.

The State further argued the accused persons were a threat to the safety of the community since they participated in civil unrest. Lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said it was the accused persons' Constitutional right to be granted bail, arguing that they were innocent until proven guilty. The accused persons were remanded in custody to January 21 for bail ruling.

The accused persons, who are alleged to be part of a mob of about 300 people, allegedly went on the rampage destroying private property, looting and burning shops.

Prosecutors said on January 16 at around 11AM, the accused persons connived with several others who are still at large and proceeded to several shops at Entumbane Shopping Mall and Donnington West Meats Butchery where they looted the premises.

"They were intercepted by anti-riot police and fled in different directions. Police gave chase and managed to apprehend the accused persons," said prosecutors.



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