A PUBLIC Service Commission (PSC) employee, Edmond Muhlangazana, has been charged with armed robbery alongside two members of a neighbourhood watch committee after allegedly robbing a Chitungwiza firm, Black Granite, of two safes containing over $185 000.
The PSC employee and his alleged accomplices allegedly buried the empty safes at a hut in Goromonzi.
Muhlangazana (39), of Parktown, Waterfalls in Harare, is alleged to have acted in cahoots with Tichaona Suwala, Ignatius Muchanyu, Edren George and Stephen Matanhire, who are already in remand prison, when they allegedly robbed the firm on September 28.
It is alleged that on the day in question, Muhlangazana teamed up with his colleagues and eight others still at large, armed themselves with a pistol and proceeded to Black Granite company premises situated along Mutema Road in the Chitungwiza industrial site.
At the time Suwala and Muchanyu — both members of a neighbourhood watch based at Waterfalls Police Station — were allegedly clad in riot police uniforms.
It is alleged upon arrival at Black Granite, Suwala and Muchanyu together with three others, disembarked from their vehicle and approached two security guards, Zaranyika Chirambadare and Ignatius Mangwiro, who were manning the premises.
The accused, masquerading as police officers on duty, allegedly produced a firearm and accused the guards of selling granite rocks during the night.
They force-marched Chirambadare and Mangwiro into their vehicle on the pretext they were taking them to Harare Central Police Station for further interrogation, but later dumped them in the bush near Manyame Air Base.
It is alleged when Suwala and Muchanyu, who were clad in police regalia, drove the guards away from the firm, they left Muhlangazana and his eight colleagues gaining access into the company.
The men broke into one of the offices where they allegedly stole two safes and two cash boxes containing $185 032,1 128 050 Zambian kwacha and 15 250 Kenyan shillings before disappearing from the scene.
It is alleged that they later teamed up and proceeded to George’s homestead at Nyamayaro village, Chief Chikwaka, Goromonzi, where they broke the safes and shared the cash before burying the empty safes in George’s hut where they were recovered by the police.
However, Muhlangazana’s luck ran out on October 8 when police received a tip-off, leading to his arrest at NSSA Building in Harare.
Muhlangazana appeared at the High Court on Tuesday before Justice Hlekani Mwayera, appealing against his denial of bail by the Magistrates’ Court, but his application was again dismissed after prosecutor Mugaviri Mugaviri successfully opposed it.