Cops, accomplices mine robbery case postponed to next Friday

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA

GWERU regional magistrate Pathekile Msipa last Friday postponed to next Friday the trial of two police officers based in Mberengwa, who allegedly ganged up with 14 accomplices and raided a Chinese mining company in Zvishavane before getting away with a car, gold and cash.

Moses Karumbidza (30) and Isaac Kawundura (33), both police officers stationed at Mberengwa ZRP Support Unit, together with Thulani Nkala (38), Taurai Matarirano (27), Tady Magama (25), Learnmore Makore (27), Wellington Moyo (34) and Hardlife Mazheke (28), all from Zvishavane, and eight others who are still at large, allegedly got away with an Isuzu truck, 48 grammes of gold, US$8 820, $6 800 (bond notes) and 2 155 Chinese yuan after raiding the mining firm in December last year.

Msipa said the court was still waiting for documents from Zvishavane before she deferred the matter to February 15 for commencement of trial.

The eight are in custody at Whawha Prison after Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese dismissed their application for bail a fortnight ago.

The defence lawyer, Leopold Mudisi of Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners, however, notified the court that he would approach the Supreme Court to contest Justice Makonese’s ruling.

The State’s case is that on December 11 last year, Karumbidza, Kawundura and the six others, armed with three rifles and four pistols, went to Camlark Mine with eight other accomplices, disguised as police officers. 

They forced the security guards at the mine to take them to the residence of the mine’s Chinese owners.

They broke into the residence’s yard and fired two shots in the air, prompting one of the occupants, Zhang Ren Lon, to come out of the house.

Zhang was manhandled and force-marched into the house, where they allegedly ordered him to show them where he kept the money. The gang allegedly looted cash, gold and drove off in a stolen vehicle. A report was made, leading to the arrest of the eight. Only the stolen car was recovered.

Talent Tadenyika prosecuted.

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