Beit­bridge gang­ster caught driv­ing mur­der vic­tim’s taxi

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Whins­ley Masara

A 29-YEAR-OLD man who is sus­pected to be part of a seven-man gang that car­jacked and killed a taxi driver be­fore rob­bing an il­le­gal money changer of R30 000 last week, has been ar­rested.

Em­manuel Map­fumo of Stand No 4 Thorn­hill Ex­ten­sion, Gutu, was ar­rested at Eskbank Toll­gate along the Harare-Mt Dar­win Road while driv­ing the de­ceased taxi driver’s ve­hi­cle.

He was said to be on his way to a church con­fer­ence with four con­gre­gants in the ve­hi­cle. Map­fumo and fel­low gang mem­bers, who are still at large, al­legedly killed Cliff Chioza, took away his ve­hi­cle and later pounced on Mr Rabson Sibanda in Beit­bridge last Tues­day.

A source close to the in­ci­dent said alert po­lice of­fi­cers spot­ted Map­fumo driv­ing the stolen ve­hi­cle at the toll­gate on Sun­day around 3PM.

“When po­lice searched the ve­hi­cle, the de­ceased’s cell­phone was re­cov­ered and three toy pis­tols be­long­ing to the trio were also found.

“Map­fumo al­legedly ad­mit­ted to in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he was part of the gang that killed the taxi driver and robbed the usiphathe­leni,” said the source. He was im­me­di­ately ar­rested. Na­tional po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba con­firmed the ar­rest.

“I can con­firm that we have ar­rested one of the sus­pects who killed a taxi driver be­fore rob­bing an al­leged money changer in Beit­bridge last week. Un­for­tu­nately, I can­not com­ment much on the mat­ter as I am in the mid­dle of a meet­ing,” she said.

Last Tues­day, the trio al­legedly killed Chioza and at­tacked Mr Sibanda.

Seven knife-wield­ing men at­tacked Sibanda and stabbed him on the left rib cage dur­ing the rob­bery. He was ad­mit­ted to Beit­bridge District Hospi­tal where he re­ceived treat­ment for the wounds.

It is be­lieved that the gang is part of a syn­di­cate that has de­scended on Beit­bridge, tar­get­ing money chang­ers and taxi driv­ers, mainly those who re­side in the town’s western sub­urbs.

The in­ci­dent was the sixth armed rob­bery in the border town in two weeks.

A fort­night ago, four in­ci­dents were re­ported in just two days where two taxi driv­ers, a money changer and a res­i­dent were robbed of valu­ables by an armed gang on the western part of Beit­bridge.

The al­leged money changer lost R60 000 and a cell phone worth $300 to four men who pounced on him when he ar­rived at his home in Mashakada sub­urb. It is sus­pected that the rob­bers fol­lowed him from town.

In Fe­bru­ary, an­other money changer was at­tacked by four armed rob­bers who got away with R8 000 and $750 af­ter as­sault­ing him and fir­ing a shot into the air.

Last Mon­day, po­lice ar­rested two sus­pects who al­legedly robbed a Fi­l­abusi busi­ness­man and were also linked to a spate of armed rob­beries re­ported in Mata­bele­land South.

The sus­pects, one from Cow­dray Park sub­urb in Bu­l­awayo and the other from Maron­dera in Mashona­land East, al­legedly com­mit­ted the crimes with two other sus­pects who are still at large.

The two were ar­rested in Maron­dera.— @ win­nie_­masara

Em­manuel Map­fumo

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