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'Armed robber' in court for 'killing' policeman

by Staff reporter
11 Jul 2023 at 07:38hrs | Views
A MAN who allegedly fatally shot a police officer in Bulawayo's New Luveve suburb appeared in court on Friday facing a murder charge.

Ntabiso Ncube (43) of Lobengula West suburb in Bulawayo sustained a fractured arm and lost a ring finger during a shootout with the police in August 2021 at the home of a suspected illegal foreign currency dealer.

Ncube allegedly shot Constable Gibson Tafara Madzimure (35) in the head at Last Mukomawashe's home in Luveve. Cst Madzimure was pronounced dead on arrival at Mpilo Central Hospital.  The cop was part of a team that foiled an armed robbery by Ncube and his colleague.

Ncube was arrested a day later at a house in Bulawayo's Lobengula West suburb. After shooting Cst Madzimure, Ncube fled the scene under a hail of bullets from the police, returning fire and allegedly dropped a CZ pistol at the scene.

A trail of blood snaking for some 100 metres from the crime scene, shows that Ncube had been shot and was bleeding profusely. Somehow, he evaded the police.

A crack police unit found him hiding in a house in Lobengula West, which they raided following a tip off leading to his arrest. Ncube appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo facing a murder charge in connection with the death of Cst Madzimure.

He was remanded in custody to July 31 for judgment.

Prosecuting, Mr Kudakwashe Jaravaza said on August 9, 2021, at around 2pm, police received a tip off concerning a looming robbery, which Ncube and his accomplice who is still at large, had planned to stage at Mukomawashe's home. A police crack team was set up which also included members of the Police Special Tactics Troop (PSTT). The team, which included Cst Madzimure, laid an ambush at Mukomawashe's home.

"Constable Madzimure and his fellow police officers were tasked to foil the planned robbery targeting Last Mukomawashe. The deceased had laid ambush at Mukomawashe's house in New Luveve," said Mr Jaravaza.

The court heard that as Cst Madzimure and his colleagues waited in ambush, Mukomawashe arrived and they immediately directed him to stay indoors as he was the target of the planned robbery.

"After a while Cst Madzimure and one Loveson Timburwa heard some noise emanating from Mukomawashe's house where some police officers were strategically positioned. Cst Madzimure and Timburwa went to the house so that they could assist their colleagues," said Mr Jaravaza.

The court heard that upon opening the gate to Mukomawashe's house intending to exit the property, Cst Madzimure and Timburwa came face to face with Ncube and his accomplice standing in front of the gate and they were wearing reflective dark clothes.

There was a flurry of gunshots from the two robbers towards Cst Madzimure and Timburwa. The court heard that Timburwa quickly regained his composure and noticed that his colleague had been shot. He fired back as he took cover. After the shooting had subsided, Cst Madzimure's colleagues observed that he sustained gunshot wounds on the head. He was taken to Mpilo Central Hospital where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.

According to the post mortem results the cause of death was severe head injury and gunshot.

Ncube was found with injuries sustained during the shootout including a fractured right arm and missing left ring finger.

He admitted that he was the one who had dropped the CZ pistol that had 10 rounds of ammunition that was found at the crime scene.

During trial, it emerged that Mukomawashe's estranged girlfriend had allegedly hired Ncube and his accomplice to rob her boyfriend. Mukomawashe was believed to be in possession of large sums of money. Upon receiving the information, police sought the services of PSTT based at Fairbridge Support Unit base in Bulawayo.

In his defence through his lawyer, Mr Tinashe Tashaya of Sengweni Legal Practice, Ncube denied the charge, saying he was only passing at the scene when he heard gunshots.

"I was coming from a beer drink and going to Luveve to meet my girlfriend when I heard gunshots. As I was trying to flee, that is when I was shot and I did not stop until I was hit by a speeding car while trying to cross the road," he  said.

Ncube said he fell on the ground but managed to crawl to a nearby house where he spent the night.

"The following morning, I woke up and proceeded to my house in Lobengula. When I arrived home, I fell unconscious and days later I woke up and found myself at Mpilo Central Hospital under police guard," he argued.

Ncube also challenged the DNA results, saying there is no proof that the recovered firearm had his blood.

"No pictures or videos were taken on the day to show that the gun recovered had blood. I suspect that my blood was taken by police during the time I was unconscious," he said.

According to a forensic ballistic report, test cases fired from Ncube's gun matched its characteristics.

Source - The Chroncile