By Tendai Rupapa
Police have arrested two men suspected to be part of a 15-member gang that had been terrorising Chegutu residents and businesses, robbing them at gun point while clad in police and army uniforms.
The suspects moved around as a syndicate. They would scale security walls and pounce on unsuspecting occupants.
They allegedly committed 15 robberies in one day on January 18 and disappeared with property worth close to $50 000. The robbers were allegedly so daring they would even kidnap and rob police officers attending crime scenes.
Two of the suspects Dzingirayi Gariyawo and Mugove Chimuti were arrested after a shoot-out with the police in Chinhoyi. They were remanded on their hospital beds on Wednesday by magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro.
The prosecutor Miss Motion Mudziwepasi alleged that on January 18, the gang while dressed in Zimbabwe National Army and Zimbabwe Republic Police uniforms, pounced on Farisai Chihoro armed with guns, machetes, iron bars and baton sticks. They allegedly fired several shots indiscriminately and robbed Chihoro of her valuables.
They also approached Obert Kaviyano and shot him before robbing him of his household property and cash. On the third count, the suspected robbers pounced on Bruno Damiliano and allegedly stole his vehicle and mobile phone.
They kidnapped him and later dumped him. They proceeded to rob another victim of his vehicle, a Toyota Hilux, mill starter, clothes, pistol and $400 cash.
They dumped him at City Bakery.
Also to be kidnapped and robbed of US$1 000 was Lieu Hia Ling.
Miss Mudziwepasi further alleged that the gang used the same methods to rob several other people.
The victims immediately reported the robberies to the police.
Several cops were assigned to attend to the crime scenes.
Givemore Chirisa (rank not given) was assigned to investigate one of the cases where the gang had broken into a victim’s house. While attending to the scene, the gang returned and pounced on him.
They kidnapped him and drove to a secluded area where they stripped him and went away with his police uniform. The suspects also visited another crime scene where another cop, Precious Mahara, was conducting investigations.
They fired shots before kidnapping her.
The gang, the court heard, kidnapped and stripped the cop and took her police uniform and mobile phone before dumping her.
Another policeman, Paul Mutipforo fell victim to the gang while he was driving a police vehicle on his way to attend to a crime scene.
They ambushed him and deflated his vehicle’s tyres. The suspects disappeared with his police gear and mobile phone after stripping him.
They also allegedly waylaid a cop Andrew Mukondombera as he was driving a police vehicle going to a crime scene. They deflated his tyres and stripped him before disappearing from the scene with his uniform and service pistol.
Chimuti and Garayawo were arrested in Chinhoyi on February 11. Their alleged accomplices are still at large. The Herald.