BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
TWO Support Unit police officers and a soldier who stole weapons from the armoury and went on a robbing spree targeting money changers and other Harare residents robbing them of cash and goods were yesterday denied bail by magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.
Golden Magunje (30) who is employed by the Zimbabwe National Army, Watson Magodhi (37) and Ayanda Gumbo (28) members of the police Support Unit Zulu Troopers appeared in court together with their accomplices Norest Hombarume (23) and Brendon Kupeta (23) of Chitungwiza. The other accomplices are still at large.
Allegations are that on August 26 last year, a complainant who was not named in court papers was attacked with an axe by the accused soon after arriving at her home in Chitungwiza.
The suspects then stole $6 700, worth of various clothing items, 20 kilogrammes of dried fish from her vehicle and fled the scene. Nothing was recovered.
The following day, the robbers attacked a woman at her home in Granary, Kuwadzana where they fired a shot in the air and ordered her to surrender valuables. They got away with US$20 and $500 in bond notes, a television set, a DVD player, mobile phones and they fled the scene.
On New Year’s Day, the gang waylaid an unnamed man and robbed him of his vehicle from which they allegedly took a satchel containing $20 000, R12 000, US$9 000 and a mobile phone. The vehicle was later found dumped.
Using the same modus operandi, the accused persons robbed one more person and a Kuwadzana family of US$3 100 at gunpoint.
Magunje was also charged with a separate charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.
According to court documents, detectives received information that Magunje was in possession of a pangolin and they proceeded to Harare Exhibition Park. It is alleged the detectives pounced on Magunje and they recovered a live pangolin and a pistol.
Upon interviewing him, he revealed that he bought the firearm from Gumbo who is based at Chikurubi armoury. Gumbo was subsequently arrested.
According to the police, Magunje had a pending armed robbery charge in Kadoma where he robbed small-scale miners using machetes.