Harare — POLICE in Harare have identified two suspects from the six-man armed robbery gang which last Thursday night raided Regional Integration and International Co-operation Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s home and got away with her official Toyota Prado, seven cellphones and US$156.
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday said investigations carried out so far had revealed the two suspects as Fanuel Zebediah Gwashu (37) and Charles Ganda Mbombo (age not given).
He said Gwashu, whose last known address is 4014 Tynwald North, Harare, was released from prison on May 9, 2009, while Mbombo — of house number 4261 Glen Norah — was released on April 24.
The two are out on bail.
“We are looking for the two suspects in connection with an armed robbery case in Mount Pleasant (Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s house) and another robbery which occurred the following day in Mandara,” said Snr Asst Comm Bvudzijena.
Police could not disclose information about the Mandara robbery, but the suspects were armed with AK rifles just like the gang that hit Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s home.
“We strongly believe that the suspects are part of a gang that is terrorising residents in and around the city,” said Snr Asst Comm Bvudzijena.
He said Gwashu, alias Tsano Zebe, and Mbombo were arrested in December last year for allegedly committing a spate of armed robberies.
After they were arrested, they helped police in clearing 13 armed robbery cases.
“Just before they were arrested, they had a shootout with the police at a popular food court in the CBD area,” said Snr Asst Comm Bvudzijena.
He said as police went about the city investigating that shooting incident, they got involved in another shootout with another gang of armed robbers.
This resulted in the death of two suspected armed robbers — Artwell Tome and James Arab Mamo. Gwashu was seriously injured in the shootout.
Last Thursday night, six armed robbers hit Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s home and got away with a Toyota Prado (without registration plates), seven cellphones and US$156.
They severely bashed her husband Dr Christopher Mushonga, the maid, a family friend and a police officer guarding the residence.
The six — who were all armed with rifles and pistols — left Dr Mushonga and the police guard with serious head injuries.
Some of the domestic staff at the house and Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s friend, Ms Michelle Hakata, were also severely assaulted during the ordeal, which lasted for about two hours.
The robbery occurred in the absence of the Minister, who was out of the country on Government business. It is understood that the family is back home, including Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga, who returned from Europe where she was attending the European Union-Zimbabwe talks.
Dr Mushonga is said to have briefly left the house to allow workers to clean the mess left by the robbers.
Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga could not comment on the robbery when contacted yesterday, saying she was busy. In April 2007, Gwashu who was one of the suspects in the commission of armed robbery sprees in the city with notorious armed robber Luckymore Matambanadzo — appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts facing five counts of armed robbery in which property worth millions of dollars was stolen.
Police believe that the more than 45 armed robbery suspects who were released from remand prison on bail two weeks ago are behind the recent upsurge in criminal activity.
Police have said they will continue to release the names and pictures of the suspected armed robbers on their most-wanted lists. Source: The Herald
To help maintain editorial independence Nehanda Radio relies on donations from readers like you. No donation is too small or too big. Help by donating to fund our operations.