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Robbers escape after police shootout

by Staff reporter
04 Nov 2021 at 06:13hrs | Views
A gang of armed robbery suspects is believed to have sped off with gunshot wounds in Bulawayo following a shootout with police, as a crack team was set up to track down one of Zimbabwe's most wanted armed robbery suspects, Conwell Junior Kasambarare (26), who is facing a plethora of robbery and house breaking charges.

The suspects in Bulawayo were travelling in a South African registered grey Toyota twin cab and were wanted for a spate of armed robbery cases in Gwanda when they were cornered by detectives at the intersection of Herbert Chitepo Street and Fifth Avenue on Friday last week at around 7.10pm

Police fired two shots into the vehicle but the robbers managed to flee. It is suspected that some of the occupants were injured.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said anyone with information should contact any police station.

Meanwhile, a police crack team has been set up to track down Kasambarare, believed to be part of the famous Musa Taj Abdul gang, who is believed to have escaped to Cape Town, South Africa.

Kasambarare last week jumped bail and police have launched a massive manhunt for him, yet again.

He was re-arrested early this year on charges of committing a spate of heists countrywide, including the famous Mashwede Holdings robbery.

Kasambarare was granted bail on these armed robbery charges last month, but on Tuesday he failed to turn up in court for his latest remand hearing and a warrant of arrest was issued.

His suspected accomplice, Mike Harris Chiyangwa, did appear in court as ordered before Harare magistrate Mr Ignatio Mhene, but Kasambarare failed to turn up, so the State represented by Mr Shepherd Makonde applied for the warrant of arrest.

The two are accused of robbing Petzim Service Station in Machipisa, Highfield, in this latest case.

Sources close to the investigations from CID Homicide, which deals with all serious violent crime including robbery, have confirmed that they were still making frantic efforts to locate Kasambarare.

Over the weekend, detectives checked all the houses and hideouts that Kasambarare once used, but could not locate him.

They have since picked up information that he could have fled to South Africa to evade trial or rearrest.

On Tuesday last week, the court heard that Kasambarare and Chiyangwa had allegedly armed themselves with a pistol and iron bars then went to Petzim service station in a Mazda truck. Upon arrival, they asked the security guard if there was fuel at the pump.

One of the two suddenly pulled out the pistol and pointed it at the guard.

They allegedly force marched the security guard to the store room where they tied his hands with a belt and ordered him to lie down before breaking into the office and they stole a medical kit, hair clipper and a generator battery before proceeding to the next shop stealing 14 Exide batteries.

When the two were arrested, they allegedly implicated Spicer Takawira and Chamu Takawira as their accomplices and those two are also being charged for the same offence.

Kasambarare of Budiriro 2 was arrested together with two other alleged accomplices, Luckson Mudyara (47) of Budiriro 1 and Chiyangwa (32) of Old Highfield.

In February, police launched a manhunt for Kasambarare after he was released last year on bail after facing charges of being part of a gang committing a spate of armed robberies countrywide. He was re-arrested, but managed to get admitted to bail again.

Spicer Takawira, an alleged accomplice in the Machipisa robbery, was recently arrested on charges of house housebreaking and theft.

Kasambarare, Takawira, together with Leo Mandaza, Godwin Kusikwenyu and another man only identified as Chamu, allegedly committed seven cases of housebreaking and theft in Harare.

Takawira, Musafare Mupanhanga and Kasambarare are also alleged to be part of the gang that raided Mashwede Holdings last year and got away with over US$100 000, R42 000, $14 000 worth of fuel coupons, firearms and 20 live rounds of ammunition.

In March last year, Mashwede Holdings lost the cash to five workers and nine suspected robbers.

Among the five workers were two brothers related to the business owner, while two were security guards.

The five workers, Mupamhanga and Kasambarare, were then arrested and appeared in court where their case is still pending.

Source - The Herald