By Thupeyo Muleya
The trial of the five “Kedha gang” members accused of orchestrating 35 armed robberies and one murder in Beitbridge will take place on November 10 at the Beitbridge Regional Court.
The five are accused of being in a gang under the late and notorious John Sithole, alias Kedha, who was killed in a shootout with police last month at a house in Dulivhadzimu suburb.
Blessing Itai Chiri (38), Dereck Ndou (34), Brian Mukosi (30), Mapfumo Makhado (31), and Taurai Coaster Dube (42) all of Dulivhadzimu in Beitbridge were arrested on October 20.
They were not asked to plead to the charges when they appeared before Beitbridge Regional Magistrate, Mr Stanford Mambanje, who remanded them in custody until trial.
The State-led by Mr Manyonga Kuvarega alleges that the five, along with three others still at large, committed 35 (armed) robberies and one murder in Beitbridge district this year.
The late John “Kedha” Sithole was in addition being investigated on two separate extra charges of raping a Mberengwa 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. The prosecutor said following the death of Sithole, the police got information on the whereabouts of the five now before the courts.
They were tracked them to a house in Dulivhadzimu. The detectives first arrested Chiri who co-operated during questioning and disclosed the location of the other four who were subsequently arrested.
The court also heard that a cellphone stolen during the murder of Andy Culkin Masuka a few weeks ago in the bush close to Makakhavhule Cemetery, west of Beitbridge town, was recovered from Chiri.
The phone belonged to a woman whom the accused persons had found in the company of Masuka.
When Chiri was arrested, he led detectives to the residence of four other accomplices, where five other cellphones linked to armed robbery cases in both urban and rural Beitbridge were recovered.
It is further alleged that the accused five made indications that they had worked with the late Sithole in committing 35 armed robberies and one murder. In addition, they gave details of three more accomplices whom police detectives still pursuing.
According to the state, 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, were also recovered from the gang. The Herald