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3 armed robbers arrested

by Staff reporter
07 Apr 2020 at 07:40hrs | Views
Police have arrested three other members of a gang of armed robbers that raided a Chinese-owned mine in Lalapanzi and several houses in Bulawayo, stealing a total of US$20 000, bringing the total arrests to four.

MacDonald Tinashe Majaya (35) of Gwabalanda in Bulawayo, Oliver Mhlanga (36) of Hillcrest and Blessing Luzhi (36) of Mpopoma allegedly connived with Simbarashe Lenox Kamwendo, who has already been remanded in custody, and five others who are still at large, to raid Sqneed Chrome Zimbabwe Company in Lalapanzi.

The gang that hit the mine force-marched the workers to the company's administration offices at gunpoint and ordered them to lie on their stomachs before tying their hands with shoe laces and electrical cables.

The armed robbers attacked their victims with  pistol butts, a shovel and machetes. They also kicked them. Majaya, Mhlanga and Luzhi appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Ms Nomasiko Ndlovu facing armed robbery charges and were remanded in custody to April 21.

Prosecutor Ms Nokuthula Chitsungo said on February 7 between 8pm and 10pm, the accused persons and the five still at large, went to Sqneed Chrome Zimbabwe Company in Lalapanzi, tied up the employees and searched them while assaulting them. "From one they took US$60, a national identity card, a Gtel X 7S cellphone, a Samsung and $30," said Ms Chitsungo.

"From the rest of the staff they took sums ranging from US$33 to US$130 as well as 500 kwacha. Four of robbers then proceeded to the company's administration block while the others remained behind guarding their hostages.

"Upon arrival at the administration block, they pulled out pistols and pointed them at the company directors. They ordered them to lie down and tied their hands before attacking them with a hammer and fists."

The court heard that the accused persons broke into the directors' houses after breaking the locks using hammers.

They ransacked one of the directors' houses and stole cellphones, a wallet containing US$590, bank cards and their Chinese identity documents. "They also broke into another house and went away with US$16 100, R1 000, 1 800 Chinese yuan, $7 000, a Huawei cellphone, travelling bag, and one pair of sports shoes. After taking everything they fled from the scene leaving everyone tied up." The three in court were intercepted by police while heading towards their two getaway cars but the rest of the gang managed to flee in a Honda Fit.

Investigations by police revealed that the car belonged to Majaya while a cellphone recovered from the abandoned car belonged to Luzhi. Further investigations also revealed that the gang was involved in a spate of armed robberies targeting houses in Bulawayo.

In one of the houses, in Nkulumane, they raided the property and went away with US$5 237, clothes and two cellphones. Meanwhile, another three suspected robbers have appeared in court for allegedly breaking into a grocery shop in Epworth, Harare, where they tied the shop attendant's hands and legs with barbed wire before stealing foodstuffs worth over $8 000 and $270 cash, writes Tendai Rupapa.

The court heard that Nickson Gangata (25), Message Kadore (23) and Panashe Sabau (20) and their three accomplices, who are still at large, threatened Praise Chimutengwende with death while ransacking the shop and ordered him to comply with their demands. The trio appeared before magistrate Mr Richard Ramaboa charged with unlawful entry in aggravating circumstances and were remanded in custody to April 24.

Prosecutor Mr George Manokore alleged that on April 1 the trio and their alleged accomplices connived to steal from Tinashe Manyika's shop. On the same day at around 2am, they proceeded to the shop, which is located at Stopover Shopping Centre and  broke into the shop where Chimutengendwe was sleeping.

The gang threatened him with death while ordering him to surrender all the cash in his possession. They allegedly blindfolded him and used wire to tie his hands and legs. They ransacked the shop and stole foodstuffs worth $8 250 and $270 cash, the court heard. Investigations led to their arrest and the recovery of some of the stolen goods at their houses.

In a separate case, a 24-year-old man appeared before the same magistrate accused of breaking into his neighbour's house and stealing a gas cylinder, a two-plate gas stove and a solar panel worth $10 000.

Tinashe Willie allegedly committed the offence on March 30 at around 5am after his neighbour, Munyaradzi Magango, had left for his workplace. When Magango came returned he noticed the break-in and sought help from neighbours.

They tracked some footsteps to Willie's house who was allegedly found in possession of the stolen property. Magistrate Ramaboa remanded Willie in custody to April 24.

Source - the herald