Thursday 3 November 2022


HARARE regional magistrate Mrs Gloria Takundwa has acquitted four suspected armed robbers who were accused of being behind the robbery of cash and property worth US$187 000, including two cars, on three different occasions in Harare early this year.

Mrs Takundwa cleared Alexio Mupamhura, Kallson Mabhonga, Tapiwa Zimbandu and Emmanuel Dylan Matiza on two counts of robbery, and another count of armed robbery.

She acquitted them saying the State had failed to produce enough evidence linking them to the offences.

In her judgment, Mrs Takundwa said the witnesses failed to identify the four and link them to the offence.

Mupamhura, Mabhonga, Zimbandu and Matiza were said to have robbed Natasha Channel Naicker of her Subaru Legacy car on February 8 this year in Braeside, Harare.

They were also alleged to have robbed Khumbulani Mulenga of his Isuzu KB single cab on February 14 before using it in an armed robbery on the following day at No. 1 College Road, in Alexandra Park, Mt Pleasant, Harare where they went away with two safes with US$11 907 and US$928 grabbed from the drawer and other valuables.

The State led by Mr Loveit Muringwa had alleged that on February 9 at around 2:45pm, the quartet, in the company of Tendai Ruchiyo, parked their Toyota Harrier car in front of Naicker’s Sabaru Legacy that was parked along Malta Road in Braeside, Harare, with keys on the ignition.

One of them got into the car and Naicker, who was standing nearby, rushed to her car and clung onto the driver’s door.

She wrestled with the suspects, but one of them twisted her hand and shoved her off the moving car.

On February 14 at around 0350hrs, the quartet allegedly tracked Murenga, who was driving his Isuzu (ADY2233) from Strathaven Shops along Eddison Zvobgo Drive (formerly Quendon Road) on his way home.

It was alleged that when Murenga was near Zambezi Flats in Mabelreign negotiating some potholes, the four blocked him with two Honda Fit cars while two of them disembarked and dragged him out of the car.

They assaulted Murenga and stole his Samsung Galaxy A72 cellphone and drove away in his Isuzu.

On February 15 at around 0300hrs, the quartet, armed with a pistol, allegedly drove the two cars they had robbed Naicker and Murenga to No. 1 College Road in Alex Park, where they manhandled the guard manning the premises.

It was said they threatened to shoot him, demanding to know where the company money was being kept.

The court heard that they tied the security guard using an electric cable and left one of them guarding him while others went to break into the offices, before stealing two safes containing US$11 907 and US$129 507 and US$928 taken from the drawer.

They also allegedly stole a 55-inch Telefunken plasma TV, HP desktop, DStv decoder, MacBook desktop, CCTV DVR and its monitor, 3x US3000 C Pylon batteries, 13 x 5kW inverters, 2x 7.2 kW inverters, 26 panel rails, grinder, tool kit, HP laptop and other valuables.

It is said they loaded the loot into the Isuzu and Subaru vehicles and drove away, leaving the guard tied.

The court heard that they drove to Hukuru Farm in Ruwa where they intended to share the stolen money.

At around 5am some farm workers who were nearby, became suspicious and alerted Ruwa police officers.

Police went to the farm where the quartet dumped the Subaru, safes with one of them which was still intact and they drove off in the Isuzu towards Harare city centre.

It was said that the police officers pursued them.

The court heard that the Isuzu developed a mechanical fault in Sunningdale, forcing them to abandon it and took to their heels.

According to the State, Mupamhura’s feet failed to take him far before he was apprehended and US$3 540 was recovered from him.

Mupamhura later implicated Mabhonga, Zimbandu, Matiza and one Tendai Ruchiyo, who remains at large.

It was the State’s case that detectives recovered 2×7.2 kw inverters, HP laptop, HP desktop, MacBook desktop, 3x US3000C Pylon tech batteries, grinder, CCTV DVR box monitor DStv decoder from the Isuzu.

An unopened safe with US$11 907 was also recovered in the same car.

A pair of black and orange shoes, a black hood jacket, which he was putting on during the robbery and was captured on CCTV camera at the place of scene, was also recovered from Mupamhura.

On the same day, detectives made follow ups in Mbare leading to the arrest of accused Mabhonga and Zimbandu, who were intending to sell part of the stolen 5x 5kw inverters to one Tawanda Ishmeal Zimbandu.

Zimbandu was interviewed and he implicated the other members of his gang.

He then led to the recovery of US$1 675 and a new Honda Fit, which he had bought with part of the stolen money.

Zimbandu was also interviewed and told the police that he was yet to receive his share, as he was left behind collecting the inverters in Borrowdale while his accomplices had gone to share the money at Hukuru Farm in Ruwa.

He then led detectives to Chitungwiza where they arrested Matiza, who also led to the recovery of US$2 900 and a new Honda Fit, which he had bought with the stolen money.

The State alleged that the four led to the recovery of the Subaru and other valuables in Mbare and Ruwa. Herald


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