By Thupeyo Muleya
Police in Beitbridge have arrested five men suspected to have been part of a gang of armed robbers that was terrorising Beitbridge residents together with the notorious John Sithole alias Kedha who was killed in a shootout with the police last Thursday.
Kedha held 10 people hostage at his rented house in Dulivhadzimu house in a 14-hour standoff.
Among the captives were fellow tenants, his wife and her 10-year-old sister whom he later released at the intervention of the Police Special Tactics Team (PSTT).
Police sources yesterday said the gang, along with three others who are still at large, are accused of committing 35 robberies and one murder case in Beitbridge district since the beginning of the year.
On the other hand, Kedha was facing two separate charges of raping a woman and her daughter before locking them in their house which he set on fire.
Fortunately, the two women were saved by fellow villagers who put out the fire.
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the five were arrested on Tuesday evening in Beitbridge following intensive investigations.
“Following the death of Sithole, we got information on the whereabouts of five of his accomplices whom we tracked to Dulivhadzimu suburb,” he said.
“Those arrested are Blessing Itai Chiri (38), Dereck Ndou (34), Brian Mukosi (30), Mapfumo Makhado (31), and Taurai Coaster Dube (42) all of Dulivhadzimu in Beitbridge.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said they arrested Chiri first and he cracked under interrogation leading detectives to the other four.
He said the police recovered from Chiri, a cellphone stolen during the murder of one Andy Culkin Masuka a few weeks ago in a bush close to Makakhavhule Cemetery.
Ass Com Nyathi said the cellphone belonged to a woman who was with Masuka.
“When Chiri was arrested, he led detectives to the residence of four other accomplices. They managed to recover five other cellphones linked to armed robbery cases in both urban and rural Beitbridge.
“The accused persons have also confessed to have worked with the late Sithole in committing 35 armed robberies and one murder. They have also revealed three more accomplices whom we are pursuing and hope to catch up with soon,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He said police recovered six spanners, one measuring tape, a food warmer, a pair of spectacles, a brown jacket, a Samsung cellphone, a Nokia 1200 cellphone, two small batteries and one face towel stolen from different complainants.
Asst Comm Nyathi said police will leave no stone unturned in clearing all the robbery cases committed by the gang.
He warned others involved in violent criminal activities that their days were numbered. The Chronicle