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Robbery suspects apply for discharge


FOUR suspected robbers who pounced on a Fawcett cash in transit vehicle and allegedly stole $125 634 yesterday applied for discharge at the close of the State’s case arguing that the evidence led by the State did not link them to the offence.


The four, Nkosiyabo Moyo (42), Ceasar Garapo (40) from Harare and Alex Musendo (35) of Hauna and Tonderai Teko (30) of Mutasa are denying the two charges of armed robbery and that of stealing a vehicle which was used in the commission of the offence.

The four are represented by Chris Ndlovu and Farai Matinhure.

In their application for discharge, the defence counsel urged the court to acquit the accused on the basis that the state had failed to prove a prima facie case against their client and the evidence that the State relied on was highly misleading.

It is the State’s case that the accused in the company of five others who are still at large, hatched a plan to rob the cash-in-transit vehicle on November 29 last year which was on its way to Eastern Highlands Plantations.

On the day in question, it is alleged that some of the accused persons approached one Bernard Mangoma in Rusape who had parked his truck in town under the pretext that they wanted to hire it to ferry fertiliser from St Faith Mission to Rusape.

However, along the way, part of the alleged gang joined in and one of them, Michel Mugwambi complained of stomach pains and asked to relieve himself.
That is when it was reportedly that the suspects suddenly ordered Mangoma off the driving seat and ordered him and his assistants to disembark before they tied them with barbed wire and made off with their belongings.

On November 30 at around 6 am, the accused allegedly waylaid the Fawcett truck and when the cash-in-transit vehicle was approaching Duri River along Selborne Hauna Road, the driver of the security company saw a Mitsubishi truck coming his way.

The Mitsubishi truck then encroached into the lane of the Fawcett vehicle and the two vehicles collided just after Duri Bridge.

The other accused persons reportedly arrived at the scene soon after the collision pretending to be police officers who wanted to assist after a road accident as two of them were in police uniform.

However, they assaulted the Fawcett driver on the head using a pistol butt before being handcuffed by one of the suspects wearing a police uniform.
He was them thrown at the back of the vehicle as the suspects disarmed other Fawcett officers and made away with a cash box containing $125 634 and only
$4 700 was recovered.

Regional magistrate Alex Shumba presided over the matter while Malvern Musarurwa prosecuted. They accused were remanded to December 17.

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