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SA-based suspected hit men seek bail

Local News
The group will appear in court for routine remand on April 22 this year.

THE five suspected hit men based in South Africa who were allegedly hired to kill a local businessman who was seeking to recover his money yesterday made an application for bail when they appeared before Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje.

Moses Monde (37), Malvin Manzinde (30), Malvin Tatenda Nyamuranga (33), Nobert Muponda (45) and Joshua Mapuranga (41) were recently arraigned before the court facing charges of conspiring to commit murder.

The group is being represented by Moffat Makuvatsine.

In his submissions yesterday, Makuvatsine argued that the State failed to prove that the suspects were from South Africa.

He further submitted that it had been established that the seriousness of the case alone could not be used to deny one bail.

“A bail condition can be given to the accused not to interfere with witness and if the conditions are breached the accused can be arrested,” he said.

Makuvatsine argued that the State had also failed to prove that the suspects had been in South Africa for more than 10 years as stated in court papers.

He said the men had their survival and relatives in Zimbabwe which their place of originality.

“The accused have been portrayed to the people as murders. If the accused were killers, the complainant would not have been alive today,” he said.

According to prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti, sometime in November 2022 Obrian Obert Mapurisa, who is still at large, entered into an agreement with Oliver Chipindu to buy gas tankers in Turkey.

Chipindu reportedly gave Mapurisa US$800 000 for the purchase of gas tankers but the money was paid in varying amounts on different dates.

In January this year, Mutsokoti alleges that Chipindu made numerous efforts to obtain paperwork pertaining to the gas tankers but Mapurisa became evasive.

Chipindu contacted Mimak company in Turkey which had been contracted to buy the gas tankers but was informed that the full purchase had not been paid.

The court heard that Chipindu then confronted Mapurisa seeking a refund but the latter was evasive before he travelled to Turkey to ask for more time to pay for the tankers. Mapurisa allegedly hired the five suspected hit men to kill Chipindu.

Chipindu and a friend reportedly lured the suspects and detectives from CID Homicide Harare raided the place and arrested them at a lodge in Harare.

The matter was rolled over to tomorrow for bail ruling.

The group will appear in court for routine remand on April 22 this year.

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