By Nqobile Tshili
Police in Bulawayo have arrested a man from Makokoba suburb who is linked to the botched armed robbery at the Bulawayo High Court earlier this month.
Evidence at hand has led police to believe the eight-men gang that stormed the High Court could be an international syndicate.
Linience Clifford Nyoni (38) was arrested on Sunday at his home after police discovered incriminating evidence linking him to the crime.
Nyoni is suspected to have been part of the eight robbers armed with pistols who raided the Bulawayo High Court two weeks ago.
The criminals attacked and injured police officers as they forced their way into the court building.
They blindfolded one of the cops and tied his hands and legs after failing to access the criminal registry.
The suspects are said to have used a grinder to try and gain entrance to the criminal registry.
New details have emerged that the culprits even used explosives in an attempt to blast open the exhibit safe room at the court.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said Nyoni’s arrest was a breakthrough in solving the attempted robbery.
“Police in Bulawayo have arrested Linience Clifford Nyoni (38) in connection with an armed robbery which occurred on 11 October 2020 at Bulawayo High Court where a police officer was injured. Seven other suspects are still at large,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“The suspect is a Makokoba suburb resident. Police officers have recovered a gun. The suspect told investigators that the gun was smuggled from South Africa on September 4. We are yet to discover whether he was working with locally-based suspects or some of them could be foreign-based citizens.”
He said police were still to establish what the suspects were targeting at the High Court.
“But what we know is that the suspects were very certain and serious with what they wanted to do. They even used explosives to try and access the safe box. So, in our investigations we are trying to unearth what they wanted to get away with at the High Court.
“We hope by zeroing in on other suspects we will discover what they wanted. I will not comment further on the matter as investigations are still in progress,” he said.
Asst Comm Nyathi warned that violent crimes will not be tolerated.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police warns all criminal elements involved in robbery cases that the law will take its course without fear of favour,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
Last Thursday, police in Beitbridge shot dead a notorious gangster John Sithole, alias Kedha, following a 14-hour hostage situation.
Sithole’s death has resulted in police arresting five men suspected to have been part of a gang of armed robbers that was terrorising Beitbridge residents. The Chronicle