By Patrick Chitumba
The trial of eight Zvishavane men, who allegedly raided a Chinese mining company in Zvishavane recently failed to kick off in Gweru on Friday as the State is waiting for documents from their court of origin.
The gang, among them two police officers, allegedly went away with an Isuzu pick up, 48 grammes of gold, US$8 820, $6 800 bond notes and 2 155 Chinese Yuan.
They appeared before Gweru Regional Magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa after Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese dismissed their application for bail pending trial two weeks ago.
Justice Makonese, in his ruling, said there was no guarantee that if given bail, the applicants namely Moses Karumbidza (30) and Isaac Kawundura (33), both police officers based in Mberengwa and attached to the ZRP Support Unit, together with Thulani Nkala (38), Taurai Matarirano (27), Tady Magama (25),
Learnmore Makore (27), Wellington Moyo (34) and Hardlife Mazheke (28) all from Zvishavane would not abscond.
Mrs Msipa remanded the gang in custody to February 15 for trial after the State led by Mr Talent Tadenyika indicated that they were waiting for some documents related to the case from Zvishavane where they first appeared.
“The State in its submissions notified the court that it is not yet ready for trial since it is waiting for other documents from their (accused’s) court of origin in Zvishavane and the accused are therefore remanded in custody to February 15 for commencement of trial,” she said
The gang, through their lawyer Mr Leopold Mudisi of Mutendi, Mudisi and Shumba Legal Practitioners, notified the court of their intention of approaching the Supreme Court contesting the ruling by Justice Makonese.
“We are notifying the court of our intention of approaching the Supreme Court to contest the ruling by Justice Makonese. My clients I feel are right candidates for bail,” he said.
It is the State’s case that on December 11 last year Karumbidza, Kawundura, Nkala, Matarirano, Magama, Makore, Moyo and Mazheke allegedly armed themselves with three rifles and four pistols and went to Camlark Mine.
They allegedly ganged up with eight others who are still at large.
It is alleged that the 16-member gang, disguised as police officers, force-marched security details at Camlark Mine to the residence of the Chinese owners of the mine.
They used a bolt cutter to destroy a padlock at the gate before accessing the residence. They allegedly fired two shots prompting one of the occupants, Mr Zhang Ren Lon to come out of the house to investigate.
The suspects manhandled Mr Zhang and took him back into his house where they ordered him to show them where he kept the money.
The gang allegedly looted cash amounting to US$8 820, $6 800 bond notes and 2 155 Chinese Yuan.
They also broke into one of the mine offices and took a computer hard drive and 48 grammes of gold and loaded them into the stolen car and drove off.
A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of the eight men. Only the stolen car was recovered. The Chronicle