Wednesday 28 June 2023


One of the country’s most wanted suspected robber Cornwell Junior Kasambarare, who is believed to have masterminded a spate of armed robbery, including the famous Mashwede Holdings heist and housebreaking cases in Harare has been arrested.

Kasambarare, alleged to have been part of Musa Taj Abdul’s criminal gang was released in 2021 on bail before he disappeared.

He was believed to have been part of a gang that was targeting households and business premises including the famous Mashwede Holdings heist which occurred in March 2020.

Sources close to the investigations said Kasambarare who has been operating from South Africa was arrested yesterday in the city. He is still in police custody and assisting with investigations.

Kasambarare’s alleged accomplice Spicer Takawira was arrested in 2021 on charges of house breaking and theft sometime and has been in custody since then.

However, police have been looking for Kasambarare, not just as a suspect, but also because he had an outstanding warrant of arrest for skipping bail and defaulting court.

Kasambarare, Takawira together with Leo Mandaza, Godwin Kusikwenyu and another one only identified as Chamu, were also accused of seven cases of house breaking and theft in Harare.

Takawira, Musafare Mupanhanga and Kasambarare are also alleged to be part of the gang that raided Mashwede Holdings in 2020 and got away with over US$100 000, R42 000, $14 000 worth of fuel coupons, firearms and 20 live rounds of ammunition.

With Mandaza and Takawira in custody, police have been appealing for information that may lead to the arrest of Kasambarare.

In March 2020, Mashwede Holdings lost the cash to five workers and nine suspected robbers. The five workers, Mupanhanga and Kasambarare, were then arrested and appeared in court.

Among the five workers were two brothers related to the business owner, while two were security guards. The two suspected robbers were remanded in custody and told only the High Court could grant bail.

This was not the first time that Mashwede Holdings was hit by armed robbers.

Recently, police were also hunting down four robbers who were involved in the second Mashwede attack, raiding a Mashwede Holdings food court and two other premises in Southlea Park, Harare, and got away with a Mitsubishi double cab and more than US$5 000.

The vehicle, which was parked at the premises for safekeeping was later found dumped in Nyatsime area of Chitungwiza. Nearby was the safe containing the cash which had been robbed at Mashwede Holdings.

Police said the robbers, who were armed with a pistol and a rifle, attacked two security guards whose hands they tied with shoelaces.

The gang then went to Virtue Service Station where they used a hammer to break a metal screen to gain entry into the premises.

They then ransacked a butchery and took away US$290 which was in one of the drawers inside an office before proceeding to a mini market at the premises where they stole electrical appliances.

The gang went to Chicken Mash owned by Mashwede Holdings and forcibly broke the aluminium doors with a hammer before attempting to break a safe which was containing cash, but failed.

They loaded the safe onto the Mitsubishi truck which they later dumped. Herald


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