Three armed robbers allegedly pounced on a Masvingo police officer early this year and stole his service pistol before embarking on a robbery spree during which they attacked nine different victims in one night.
Report by Charles Laiton
They allegedly made off with property worth over $5 000.
The Hollywood-style armed robberies occurred during the night of February 11 at Mvurwi, Centenary, Mt Darwin, Madziva Mine and Glen View 2 in Harare.
The alleged robbers – Tinei Chimucheka (22) of Mangare village, Dotito, Mt Darwin, Athanas Munyonga (33) of Maunga village, Gutu – allegedly acted in cahoots with one William Audius Takundwa, who is reported to have suffered mental challenges weeks after the alleged robberies.
Chimucheka and Munyonga pleaded not guilty to nine counts of armed robbery when they appeared before regional magistrate Fadzai Mthombeni last week and were remanded in custody to Thursday this week for continuation of trial.
Prosecutor Allan Goche told the court that on the day in question, the three men in the company of Luckmore Chibira and Vincent Didy, who are still at large, allegedly teamed up and boarded a bus to Mvurwi apparently on a robbery mission.
Along the way they dropped off the bus and allegedly posed as genuine commuters and started flagging down vehicles in search of transport, prompting one Stewart Ndoro to offer them a lift.
The court heard one of the men allegedly produced a pistol, pointed it at Ndoro while others cut off seat belts which they used to tie his hands and legs after which they removed his shirt and blindfolded him.
They took charge of the vehicle and drove Ndoro off Mvurwi Road for about 300 metres into the bush where they allegedly tied him to a tree before disappearing with his car.
They allegedly used the vehicle which they drove to Centenary, Mt Darwin, Madziva Mine and Glen View 2 in one night, leaving behind a trail of destruction after attacking nine different victims.
However, the gang’s luck ran out on February 17 when police received a tip-off and arrested Chibira in Domboshava who then implicated the others, but he later escaped from lawful custody.