Abel Zhakata and Tendai Gukutikwa
DETECTIVES in Mutare had to enlist the services of their Mozambican counterparts to arrest a suspected dangerous armed robber who had skipped into the neighbouring country following a litany of robberies in the eastern border city.
The suspect and his accomplices pounced on a gold dealer in Fairbridge Park Extension in March, and they have since been slapped with 12-year jail sentences each after pleading guilty.
However, one of them is still at large.
Mhike Musiiwa (35) of Odzi Location, Nunurai Samakande (27) of Village 18, Nyamajura, Gabriel Mukambachaza (38) of Chikanga 2, Mutare and Zacharia Mlambo (43) of Vumba in Mozambique were recently arrested in connection with the Fairbridge Park Extension armed robbery.
Having gotten wind of the fact that Moreblessing Masarirambi and Takudzwa Tembo were holding some hard currency, the four robbers went to the duo’s house purporting to sell gold.
After a transaction, the robbers produced a pistol, a machete and a knife.
They took Tembo’s cellphones, before force-marching him into his bedroom. They ransacked the room and stole US$5000.
They proceeded to Masarirambi’s bedroom, ransacked it and took a digital Chubb safe that was holding cash amounting to US$15 000, a laptop and two cellphones.
The robbers then sped off from the scene. Tembo subsequently made a police report.
The stolen safe was later recovered in a bush near Dangamvura Cemetery.
On March 30, one of the four robbers was arrested in Harare after a tip-off. He was interviewed and implicated his two accomplices and another one who is still at large.
On the same day, police received another tip-off that Musiiwa had skipped the country.
Detectives in Mutare relayed the information to their counterparts in Mozambique for assistance, thereby leading to Musiiwa’s arrest.
His accomplices were subsequently arrested and admitted to having committed the robbery.
Meanwhile, another suspect who was involved in recent crimes that recently rocked the Penhalonga and Zimunya communities has since been hauled before the courts and is facing armed robbery and rape charges.
Trust Matiashe (30) was not asked to plead to the armed robbery charges when he appeared before Mutare magistrate, Miss Prisca Tendai Manhibi last Saturday.
He is being charged with seven counts of contravening Section 126 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23.
The state was being represented by Mr Nyasha Gerald Mukonyora.
It alleged that on August 19, 2019 around midnight, the complainant was sleeping with his wife when Matiashe and his accomplice, Amos Nyaera, arrived.
Matiashe is alleged to have fired two shots into the air, threatening to kill the couple.
“They stole some money, groceries and electrical gadgets,” said Mr Mukonyora.
“They then force-marched the complainant into the darkness and took turns to rape her,” said Mr Mukonyora.
Matiashe and Nyaera went on to rob Munax Shop and Bottle Store at Piki Business Centre, Samupindi Shop, Sunny Valley Anytime Inn Shop, Manununu Shop, Obrigado Bottle Store and the Mureremba homestead in Zimunya and Mpudzi.
Some of the stolen property was recovered at Matiashe’s homestead in Gosho Village when he was arrested.
Matiashe was remanded in custody while Nyaera is still at large.
At least five more suspects are on the police wanted list as detectives race to solve more than 30 robbery cases that were recently committed in Mutare and surrounding areas.