Sex work­ers sell out robbers

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Ny­ore Madzianike and Abel Zhakata Se­nior Re­porters

TWO sus­pected armed robbers, be­lieved to be part of a gang that has been ter­ror­is­ing res­i­dents in Mutare’s af­flu­ent suburbs with ma­chetes, were ar­rested at a night club in the city cen­tre on Mon­day morn­ing fol­low­ing a heated brawl with sex work­ers over un­paid dues.

Irked by the duo’s be­hav­iour af­ter one of them re­fused to pay for a quickie, the sex work­ers alerted bounc­ers man­ning the pop­u­lar night spot who quickly de­scended on the sus­pected robbers.

Upon re­al­is­ing that there were no match for the se­cu­rity de­tails, the sus­pects — Artwell Mur­wisi (28) and Pros­per Mudz­ingwa (20) — de­cided to arm them­selves with ma­chetes, cat­a­pults and other dan­ger­ous weapons.

The weapons were stashed in a taxi parked out­side the night club.

Mur­wisi, of Sun­ning­dale 2 in Harare and Mudz­ingwa of Rimuka in Kadoma then at­tacked the se­cu­rity per­son­nel us­ing the weapons but mem­bers of the pub­lic in­ter­vened and fought in the bounc­ers’ cor­ner.

The mob gave the duo a thor­ough hid­ing leav­ing them bat­tered, bruised and bleed­ing pro­fusely from deep wounds.

De­tec­tives later ar­rived at the scene and ap­pre­hended the duo but some of the ac­com­plices had al­ready fled from the scene.

Mur­wisi and Mudz­ingwa were later taken to Mutare Pro­vin­cial Hos­pi­tal for treat­ment un­der po­lice guard.

On Tues­day they were hauled be­fore courts fac­ing 24 counts of at­tempted mur­der, rape, rob­bery, un­law­ful en­try and the pos­ses­sion of ar­ti­cles for crim­i­nal use.

They were not asked to plead to the charges when they ap­peared be­fore Mutare mag­is­trate, Mr

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Tendai Mahwe. The court ad­vised them to ap­ply for bail at the High Court since they were fac­ing Third Sched­ule of­fences.

The duo will be back in court on De­cem­ber 11 for rou­tine re­mand.

Asked by Mr Mahwe how they sus­tained in­juries the sus­pects said: “We were as­saulted by the pub­lic”. Pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor, Mr Fletcher Karombe, told the court that Mur­wisi and Mudz­ingwa were at Man­disa Night Club along with their ac­com­plices only iden­ti­fied as Mat­i­biri and Ma­jamu when they picked a mis­un­der­stand­ing with Pa­tience Matu­rure.

The ar­gu­ment caught the at­ten­tion of se­cu­rity guards, Casper Ch­esa and Brian Ma­gada, who were man­ning the club.

“The ac­cused per­sons used ma­chetes to hit com­plainant, Casper Chasi, sev­eral times all over the body thereby caus­ing se­vere in­juries on the head and left eye. The ac­cused were over­pow­ered by mem­bers of pub­lic and were later ar­rested by po­lice,” he said.

Ma­gada also sus­tained se­ri­ous in­juries on the head fol­low­ing the duo’s at­tack.

Upon their ar­rest Mur­wisi and Mudz­ingwa were found in pos­ses­sion of four ma­chetes, two pairs of cat­a­pults and two torches.

The gang was quickly linked to a spate of rob­beries that oc­curred in the city in re­cent weeks.

The State fur­ther al­leged that on Oc­to­ber 15, Mur­wisi and Mudz­ingwa ganged up with their ac­com­plices, who are still at large, and went to broke into Syd­ney Mutafani’s house in Green­side.

They stole $735, clothes, blan­kets and a ra­dio.

On the same day at around 2am, the gang also broke into Du­misani Ny­athi’s apart­ment in the Av­enues. They at­tacked and robbed him of his prop­erty.

On Oc­to­ber 26 the duo teamed up with Mat­i­biri and Ma­jamu and broke into Machi­ki­cho Madiki Amato’s house in Mu­rambi.

They stole house­hold prop­erty and van­ished. The fol­low­ing night, they re­turned to the same neigh­bour­hood and forced their way into Tafadzwa Jaricha’s house where they a tele­vi­sion set and $640.

Lu­cia Chi­famba of Mu­rambi also lost house­hold prop­erty to the gang af­ter they broke into her house on Novem­ber 3.

The court also heard that on Novem­ber 4, they at­tacked Pauline Kure­hwatira af­ter break­ing into her house in Green­side and got away with a cell­phone, cash and other valu­ables.

On Novem­ber 5 between 9pm and 2am, the gang used the same modus operandi and broke into five houses in Palmer­stone.

They went away with house­hold prop­er­ties worth thou­sands of dol­lars.

A week later, the gang armed it­self with ma­chetes and a pis­tol and broke into Robert Matsvimbo’s house in Mu­rambi where they stole house­hold prop­erty.

On Novem­ber 24 at around mid­night, the gang pounced on a house near Mutare Girls High School where they forced open the doors us­ing ma­chetes.

It is al­leged that Mudz­ingwa raped the woman they found at the house be­fore his ac­com­plices re­port­edly took turns to sex­u­ally at­tack her.

That same night the gang pro­ceeded to break into a nearby house where they took turns to rape an­other woman.

Mur­wisi and Mudz­ingwa are also al­leged to have bro­ken into more houses in the Mu­rambi, Palmer­stone and Green­side where they stole an as­sort­ment of house­hold prop­er­ties.

Weapons banned in­clude ma­chetes, cat­a­pults, axes, knobker­ries, swords, knives and dag­gers.

Pros­per Mudz­ingwa

Artwell Mur­wisi

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