SIX suspected robbers including a woman, who went on a taxi robbery spree in Harare while in military fatigue appeared in court yesterday facing robbery charges.
Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei remanded them in custody to December 27 and advised them to apply for bail at the High Court.
Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira alleged that on September 26 this year, Chamunorwa Magwaza (28), Tichaona Choto (26) and Leeroy Magwaza (20) hired a taxi driven by Jorum Learnmore from the city centre to the Waterfalls area.
Along the New Chitungwiza Road, she alleged, they instructed the complainant to stop as they wanted to wait for a friend near Irvine’s, a poultry firm.
They then allegedly grabbed the driver and stole his mobile phone and cash before stripping him off his clothes.
It is alleged that they drove off at high speed towards Zindoga Shopping Centre where they abandoned the vehicle.
Further allegations were that on October 12 around midnight, Magwaza and Choto teamed up with Shingirayi Chasuka (27) and hired Peter Hauchitumi’s taxi at kuMbudzi roundabout along Masvingo Road and told him to take them to Waterfalls. Upon arrival, they paid $4 before allegedly bundling him into the backseat and driving along the New Chitungwiza Road.
The court heard that they abandoned him at the Margolis Road turn–off. They allegedly drove off and later abandoned the vehicle at Chinamano Cemetery in Epworth.
On October 13 just after midnight, Magwaza, Choto and one Nyarai Mutumwa hired a taxi driven by Gilson Mukonoweshuro from the city on the pretext that they wanted to go to Waterfalls. Upon arrival they allegedly threatened him with a knife and he surrendered the vehicle to them, together with his cellphone and $15.
The accused allegedly tied the complainant’s legs with his belt before abandoning him in a nearby bushy area and driving to Murombedzi in Zvimba where they abandoned the vehicle.
Magwaza and Choto again allegedly teamed up with Mavis Moyo and Michael Ziira, who is already on remand, on October 15 and hired Benevolence Chindunge, a taxi driver, from the city to Marimba Park.
Upon arrival they allegedly robbed him of his vehicle and stole $32, a cellphone as well as his bank cards.
They allegedly drove to Mufakose where they abandoned the complainant.
Ziira and Magwaza, the court heard, then took the vehicle to Rusape where the former was arrested and led the recovery of the vehicle.
On October 28, at around 11 o’clock at night, Chamunorwa, Magwaza, Choto and one Tinashe, hired a taxi driven by Nyasha Sanjati at Machipisa Shopping Centre on the pretext they wanted to be taken to Waterfalls.
The complainant charged them $10 and upon arrival at Southley Park in Waterfalls along an unnamed road, the suspected robbers allegedly produced a knife and threatened Sanjati who then surrendered the vehicle to them.
They stole $20 and three cellphones from him.
The accused persons later drove to Kwekwe where they were involved in an accident and the vehicle was recovered at the accident scene.
They allegedly robbed several other taxi drivers using the same method, but were eventually arrested following a tip–off.