By Courtney Matende
A Bulawayo-based police officer and four accomplices have appeared in court in Gweru facing robbery charges.
Constable Dumoluhle Mlandwa (24) of ZRP Kumalo in Bulawayo and is attached to United Bulawayo Hospitals Police Post together with Denzel Chiwara (30), Elpidio Garikai Chabata (30), Vivian Prince Gatsi (21) and Mike Masocha (21) all from Bulawayo appeared before Gweru provincial magistrate, Mr Tavengwa Sangster, facing robbery charges.
The five accused were not asked to plead and were remanded in custody to August 5.
The State allegations are that between July 19 and July 21, Cst Mlandwa, Chiwara, Chabata, Gatsi and Masocha used a red Honda Fit vehicle to lure would be passengers before robbing them off their valuables.
On July 19 at around 11PM, the accused allegedly robbed Mr Trust Langton Munyimiri who boarded their car in Gweru’s CBD on his way home to Athlone suburb.
He was allegedly assaulted and robbed of goods worth USD$165 and RTGS$120.
After robbing Mr Munyimiri, the accused persons allegedly stripped him naked, took his shoes laces and tied his hands before pushing him out of the moving vehicle.
On July 20 at around 1AM, the accused allegedly picked up Mr Owen Magoyo who was intending to go to Lingfield area near Josiah Tungamirai Airbase from Total Garage in Gweru.
Mr Magoyo was allegedly told that the taxi was passing through Gweru Provincial Hospital. Along the way, one of the accused persons produced an okapi knife and robbed Mr Magoyo of goods worth RTGS$700.
They allegedly made a U-turn before pushing him out of the vehicle.
On July 21 the accused robbed Mrs Zorodza Kapeza who had disembarked from a bus from South Africa, of a handbag and goods worth RTGS$4 000.
At around 4AM on the same day they offered a lift to Ms Simangele Gotore who was going to town from Mtapa suburb.
When they reached Samanyanga Kiosk the vehicle made a U-turn before one of the accused persons demanded cash.
The complainant allegedly surrendered RTGS$150, US$22, R100 among other valuables.
Using the same modus operandi the accused allegedly robbed Mr Tichaona Mirira of valuables worth RTGS$410, Ms Abigail Rusike lost a bag containing
RTGS$140 and Mr Collen Magiya was robbed of goods worth RTGS$200.
On July 22 police on patrol spotted the accused’s car parked along 6th Street and when they got close, the accused left the car and fled.
Police recovered a wallet containing a national identity card and a police identity card belonging to Cst Mlandwa leading to the arrest of the five ccused. The Chronicle