34 rob­beries in 3 weeks gang nabbed

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Pa­tience Mut­siwi/ Wynne Zanamwe

The ac­cused per­sons armed with a pis­tol and ma­chetes robbed a com­muter om­nibus that was at Tiger Riff bus stop in Kwekwe. The gang de­manded cash from about eight pas­sen­gers who were aboard the com­muter om­nibus

PO­LICE have ar­rested five men who were al­legedly part of a six-mem­ber gang of high­way rob­bers that tar­geted mo­torists in Kwekwe and Gokwe, rob­bing about 34 peo­ple in three weeks.

In one in­ci­dent, the sus­pects robbed five peo­ple in a ve­hi­cle of $458 and two cell­phones at gun­point.

In an­other, they al­legedly stopped a com­muter om­nibus and relieved 11 pas­sen­gers of $1 300 while armed with a gun and ma­chetes.

Dur­ing one of their es­capades, the gang al­legedly robbed a mo­torist of a Toy­ota Vitz, $3 532 and four cell phones.

Nkosiyami Makosi Mpofu (33), Zakeo Dube (29), Tari­sai Shon­hiwa (20), Nkosi­lathi Ny­oni (25) and Mduduzi Dube (23) yes­ter­day ap­peared be­fore Gokwe Re­gional Mag­is­trate Mr Solomon Jenya, each fac­ing 34 counts of armed rob­bery.

Mpofu and Dube of Zhombe, Shon­hiwa and Ny­oni of Gweru and Dube from Fi­l­abusi, who are all not em­ployed, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The sixth man, Dar­ling­ton Ndlovu (age not given), is still at large.

The mag­is­trate re­manded the quin­tet in cus­tody to Novem­ber 9 for trial.

The state in­tends to call more than 15 wit­nesses to tes­tify in the mat­ter.

Pros­e­cu­tor, Mr Michael Mhene told the court that the five al­legedly com­mit­ted the crimes in July last year.

Al­le­ga­tions against the gang are that on July 3, they hatched a plan to rob a taxi driver in Kwekwe.

“They ap­proached a taxi that was parked in the city cen­tre and asked the driver to trans­port their gold. Along the way they stopped the taxi driver in a bush be­fore they robbed him of a cell­phone and $82,” said Mr Mhene.

He said on July 12, they robbed a Kwekwe res­i­dent of his Toy­ota Vitz.

On July 14, Mpofu, Dube, Shon­hiwa, Ny­oni and Zakeo al­legedly robbed a sol­dier who was com­ing from Bat­tle­fields in Kwekwe of his cell phone and $180.

“On July 15, the ac­cused per­sons ap­proached a com­plainant who was driv­ing a Toy­ota Vitz at Chemagora bus stop in Zhombe be­fore rob­bing the driver and pas­sen­gers of $458 cash and two cell phones,” Mr Mhene said.

“On July 21, they robbed a taxi driver of $12 and his cell phone. On July 23, they robbed an­other taxi driver of his cell phone and $150”.

Mr Mhene said for counts 11 to 24, the ac­cused per­sons armed with a pis­tol and ma­chetes robbed a com­muter om­nibus that was at Tiger Riff bus stop in Kwekwe.

The gang de­manded cash from about eight pas­sen­gers who were aboard the com­muter om­nibus.

Mr Mhene said they robbed the pas­sen­gers and the crew of $1 350.

“For counts 25 to 34, us­ing the same modus operandi as in counts 11 to 24, the ac­cused robbed a com­muter om­nibus and went away with $1 300,” he said.

A re­port was made to the po­lice lead­ing to the ar­rest of the ac­cused per­sons on Au­gust 2 this year.

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