The Herald (Zimbabwe)

Nabbed suspect linked to US$2,7m ZB Bank heist case

- Crime Reporter

ONE of the two suspected robbers arrested on Monday while their accomplice was shot dead in a shoot-out with police in Harare has been linked to the US$2,7 million ZB Bank heist which occurred in 2021.

Gerald Rutizira (38), who was part of a gang that seized the money which was en-route for distributi­on to ZB Bank branches in Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Gweru, Gwanda, Zvishavane and Bulawayo, was on the wanted list following his release on bail from remand prison.

However, he is now suspected of re-offending while on bail in a series of four armed robberies ranging from Beatrice to Chinhoyi.

Rutizira was rearrested on Monday with Brighton Mangondo (35) as a member of a new gang of robbers that had been terrorisin­g families and business premises countrywid­e.

A third member of the gang, Tanaka Living Nyaude Madzima (29), died on admission to Parirenyat­wa Group of Hospitals after a shoot out with police in Riddleridg­e area of Harare on Monday. Police said they started rounding up the latest gang on Monday when detectives from CID Homicide, Harare, arrested Mangondo after receiving informatio­n that he was hiding at a house in Glen View 3, Harare.

He then helped lure Rutizira to Armsterdam in Southlea Park, Harare, accounting for a second arrest.

That arrest led to the recovery of a 12 bore Khan Arms shot gun at Rutizira’s residence in Southlea Park. Rutizira in turn led detectives to the Boka area where Tanaka Madzima was hiding.

A 9mm Star pistol, eight 9mm live rounds and a 0.22 RG 12 Revolver were recovered at Madzima’s residence in Frezer area, Ushewokunz­e.

But Madzima then tried to run away as detectives were trying to recover a pistol and ammunition in Riddleridg­e area, resulting in an exchange of fire and the death of Madzima on admission to hospital.

The suspects are linked to four robberies: one at Afrochine Smelting Company in Darwendale on June 30 this year where cash, cellphones and laptops valued at US$8 000 were stolen; a robbery on July 6 at Unadale Farm, Beatrice where a Khan Arms shot gun, two cell phones and US$3 800 cash were stolen; and a robbery on July 11, at a brick company in Chinhoyi where US$1 420 cash, three cell phones and three blankets were stolen.

Police have started closing in on yet another gang of four, plus a fifth who died in a shootout, that robbed a motorist of a cellphone, iPad and US$250 cash last week in Southerton.

The four have so far been identified as Paul Chinake alias Pauros, Lovejoy alias Shorty, Teddie and Betto.

On Saturday, police shot and killed a fifth member of this gang after an exchange of gunfire in Chitungwiz­a’s Unit A suburb.

National police spokespers­on Assistant Commission­er Paul Nyathi said the suspect died in hospital from injuries sustained in the shootout with police detectives in Unit A, Seke, Chitungwiz­a.

“The shooting incident follows the Southerton robbery incident which went viral on social media platforms in which the complainan­t, who was driving a Toyota Hilux motor vehicle, was intercepte­d by the suspects who were aboard a Honda Fit vehicle on October 30, 2023 along Bryce Road, Harare.

“The suspects, who were armed with an unidentifi­ed pistol, knife and an iron bar, pointed the pistol at the complainan­t before smashing the passenger and driver’s windows of the complainan­t’s motor vehicle.

“The suspects stole a cellphone, an Ipad and US$250 cash before speeding off in a Honda Fit vehicle.

“The incident was captured on the complainan­t’s vehicle dashboard camera,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.

On Saturday, detectives from CID Homicide acted on received informatio­n and tracked Mudzuri to his girlfriend’s house in Unit A, Seke, Chitungwiz­a where he was hiding.

Mudzuri was shot in the legs following an exchange of fire with detectives. He was referred to a hospital in Harare where he died on admission. Police are now hunting the other four suspects.

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