Wednesday, 3 November 2021

ROBBERS FLEE AFTER SHOOTOUT WITH COPS

A gang of armed robbery suspects is believed to have sped off with gunshot wounds in Bulawayo following a shootout with police.

The suspects, who were travelling in a South African registered grey Toyota twin cab and suspected to be behind a spate of armed robberies in Gwanda, were cornered by detectives at the intersection of Herbert Chitepo and 5th Avenue.

Police fired two shots at the vehicle but the robbers managed to speed off. It is suspected that some of the occupants were injured.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident.

“The ZRP confirms a shooting incident which occurred near Naik area at corner Herbert Chitepo and 5th Avenue, Bulawayo on October 29, 2021 at 1910 hrs. Police detectives fired two shots on a Toyota twin cab with suspects wanted for robbery cases that occurred in Gwanda in a bid to stop them.

“The suspects did not stop and sped away in the vehicle. Anyone with information to contact any nearest police station,” he said.

Meanwhile, a police crack team has been set up to track down the wanted robber, Conwell Junior Kasambarare, believed to be part of the famous Musa Taj Abdul gang, who is believed to have escaped to Capetown, South Africa.

Kasambarare last week jumped bail and police have launched a massive manhunt for him, yet again.

He was re-arrested early this year on charges of committing a spate of heists countrywide, including the famous Mashwede Holdings robbery.

Kasambarare was granted bail on these armed robbery charges last month, but on Tuesday he failed to turn up in court for his latest remand hearing and a warrant of arrest was issued.

His suspected accomplice, Mike Harris Chiyangwa, did appear in court as ordered before Harare magistrate Mr Ignatio Mhene, but Kasambarare failed to turn up, so the State represented by Mr Shepherd Makonde applied for the warrant of arrest.

The two are accused of robbing Petzim Service Station in Machipisa, Highfield, in this latest case.

Sources close to the investigations from CID Homicide, which deals with all serious violent crimes including robbery, yesterday confirmed that they were still making frantic efforts to locate Kasambarare.

Over the weekend, detectives checked all the houses and hideouts that Kasambarare once resided at, but could not locate him.

They have since picked up information that he could have fled to the neighbouring country to evade being rearrested.

In February, police launched a manhunt for Kasambarare after he was released last year on bail after facing charges of being part of a gang committing a spate of armed robberies countrywide.

He was re-arrested but managed to get admitted to bail again.

Spicer Takawira, an alleged accomplice in the Machipisa robbery, was recently arrested on charges of house housebreaking and theft.

Kasambarare, Takawira, together with Leo Mandaza, Godwin Kusikwenyu and another man only identified as Chamu, allegedly committed seven cases of housebreaking and theft in Harare.

Takawira, Musafare Mupanhanga and Kasambarare are also alleged to be part of the gang that raided Mashwede Holdings last year and got away with over US$100 000, R42 000, $14 000 worth of fuel coupons, firearms and 20 live rounds of ammunition.

In March last year, Mashwede Holdings lost the cash to five workers and nine suspected robbers.

Among the five workers were two brothers related to the business owner, while two were security guards.

The five workers, Mupamhanga and Kasambarare, were then arrested and appeared in court where their case is still pending. Herald

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