Friday, 14 October 2016


MUREHWA Business Centre was last week turned into a battle ground following a shoot-out between three cheeky armed robbery suspects and a crack team of detectives from Mutare Central Police Station who had tracked them from Mutare over a spate of robberies they had committed in the eastern border city.

Detectives sergeants Joseph Ngorima, Edmore Bhanisi, George Njowa and Detectives Assistant Inspector Wellington Chitenga – all attached to the Homicide Section – had to stand their ground to arrest the suspects who were armed with pistols and knives.

One of the suspects was shot on the left leg during the process, while the other one who managed to escape was on the receiving end of heavy gunfire. The other suspect was arrested unawares while seating in a gate-away vehicle they had stolen.

The arrested two suspects were part of a three-member gang that robbed a service station as well as hijacking a vehicle at gunpoint in Mutare.

Evans Chatitima (23) from Murehwa and Nimrod Munyangaru (32) of Number G101, Vengere Township in Rusape, have since appeared before senior Mutare magistrate, Mr Langton Mukwengi, facing two counts of armed robbery.

They were asked to apply for bail at the High Court since they were facing serious charges.

Public prosecutor, Mr Fletcher Karombe, said the suspects who were in the company of a fugitive accomplice, Enock Muterembwe, pounced on Fashu Service Station last Wednesday where they held two petrol attendants at gunpoint before robbing them of $300.

The court heard that the suspects produced a Star pistol and an Okapi knife and threatened to kill the petrol attendants – Gilbert Mhlanga and Morgan Chidzikwe – if they failed to obey their instructions.

The suspects robbed the attendants of the money and a ZTE cellphone. After committing the crime they scaled the fence and disappeared.

The following day the suspects robbed a taxi driver of his Honda Fit vehicle in the Central Business District after they had pretended to be genuine customers who wanted a lift to


“The vehicle belongs to Liberty Sithole. At around 9pm, the complainant was parked at Dangamvura Rank looking for customers to hire his vehicle when he was approached by two of the suspects. The complainant agreed to drive the suspects to Penhalonga for $15.

“On their way to Penhalonga, the suspects advised the complainant that they wanted to pick their brother at Flavour Town Bar and the complainant complied and they picked the third suspect. The complainant was directed to Muchena Business Centre and when they arrived there the suspects ordered the driver to go further towards Shamu area,” said Mr Karombe.

The complainant drove for about two kilometers and was ordered by one of the suspects to stop. He pulled off the road. One of the suspects who was sitting behind the driver got out of the vehicle and opened the driver’s door.

He had a knife in his hand. The other suspect who was on the passenger’s seat also produced a knife and ordered the complainant to go to the back seat. They threatened to stab him if he failed to comply.

One of the suspects drove the car back to Mutare and along the way they searched the complainant and stole $60 and a Samsung cellphone before violently shoving him out of his car. While making his report to the police, the complainant told detectives that his car was on mobile tracking and according to the tracking system the car was spotted in Mutoko.

Subsequently, the four detectives proceeded to Mutoko to recover the vehicle. On that same day at around 9pm, the detectives spotted the stolen Honda Fit with the three suspects heading towards Murehwa.

A chase ensued and the robbers were caught up at a service station in Murehwa while trying to refuel. Witnesses said the robbers, upon realising that the detectives were hot in pursuit, opened fire at them.

In an instant, a shoot-out ensued and the robbers were eventually overpowered.

One of them managed to escape and the other two were arrested. Efforts by the cops to track the fugitive with the help of the Murehwa Dog Section that same night yielded nothing. The stolen car was recovered and upon searching the vehicle, they recovered a Star pistol with a magazine that had three rounds.

Chatitima told the detectives that he bought the firearm in South Africa, while his accomplice Munyangaru was found in possession of an Okapi knife as well as the cellphone that was stolen from the fuel attendant. The suspects raised complaints against the police, saying they were beaten while in detention and Mr Mkwengi ordered the prosecution to investigate the claims. They also requested to see a doctor for treatment. Chatitima had difficulties in walking as a result of the bullet wound on his left leg. manica post


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