Armed rob­ber pair de­nied bail

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

THE High Court has dis­missed an ap­pli­ca­tion for bail pend­ing trial by two of three se­rial armed rob­bers who al­legedly raided shops, a ser­vice station in Mvuma and a farm at Con­ces­sion, get­ting away with more than $18 000.

The rul­ing by Bu­l­awayo High Court judge Jus­tice Lawrence Kamocha fol­lows an ap­pli­ca­tion by Ernest Maregedze, Pa­trick Mu­tondo and Ngo­nidza­she Maty­ora through their lawyers, Chitere, Chi­dawanyika and Part­ners, cit­ing the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) as the re­spon­dent.

The judge only granted Maty­ora $200 bail say­ing he was not di­rectly linked to the crime.

He or­dered him to re­side at his given ad­dress un­til the mat­ter is fi­nalised and not to in­ter­fere with State wit­nesses as well as re­port thrice a week at Harare Cen­tral Po­lice Station. The other two were de­nied bail. The lawyers ar­gued that their clients were good can­di­dates for bail, say­ing the ends of jus­tice would not be prej­u­diced by their re­lease.

They said there were no com­pelling rea­sons to jus­tify the suspects con­tin­ued de­ten­tion in re­mand prison.

The ac­cused per­sons said their ar­rest was premised on mis­taken iden­tity.

Mrs Si­fiso Sibanda, who ap­peared for the State, op­posed the bail ap­pli­ca­tion.

She ar­gued that there was over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence against the ac­cused per­sons and there was no guar­an­tee that if granted bail, the ac­cused per­sons would not ab­scond.

“The State case is prima fa­cie strong and a con­vic­tion is al­most guar­an­teed. With this knowl­edge ap­pli­cants are most un­likely to wait for a trial whose con­clu­sion would be against them since armed rob­bery at­tracts a very long prison term,” ar­gued Mrs Sibanda.

The ac­cused per­sons are fac­ing four counts of armed rob­bery and they are cur­rently held at WhaWha Re­mand Prison.

The court heard that be­tween Au­gust 30 and Septem­ber 2 this year, the ac­cused per­sons teamed up with other ac­com­plices who are still at large and raided shops and ser­vice sta­tions.

The court heard that in one of the raids, they de­scended on Down Town Pe­tro­leum Ser­vice Station in Mvuma in the early hours.

They con­fronted two em­ploy­ees and de­manded money at gun­point be­fore force­march­ing them to an of­fice where they took $123 and two cell­phones.

They locked up the com­plainants and fled from the scene. On Septem­ber 2, they went to a farm in Con­ces­sion where they laid an am­bush. One of them fired a sin­gle shot and in­jured one of the com­plainants who was driv­ing his car.

They searched his car and took a bag con­tain­ing $17 500 be­fore they took to their heels. They also con­nived and phoned a com­plainant in Ma­zowe un­der the pre­text that they wanted to sell gold to him.

When he ar­rived at the scene, they shot him once on the left leg and robbed him of $500 be­fore they dis­ap­peared into the bush. — @ mash­nets.

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