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Prosecutor who consented to bail for serial armed robber suspended

Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi has suspended prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema for consenting to the granting of bail to Musa Taj Abdul (46), a serial armed robber who was arrested in August and who had been on the police wanted list for 20 years.

The suspected armed robber and gang leader was on Monday granted Z$5000 bail by Justice Benjamin Chikowero along with co-accused Godfrey Mupamhanga (27), Rudolf Tapiwa Kanhanga (29) and Douglas Mutenda (31), but they will remain in custody as the four are facing fresh charges.

Chief Law Officer Justin Uladi confirmed in the State Media, the suspension of Kasema saying the matter has been referred to the police for investigations while they are preparing to launch an appeal against the High Court decision.

Taj Abdul was arrested by police in Beitbridge on August 24 and he is accused of masterminding high profile robbery cases reminiscent of the Chidhumo-Masendeke robberies which kept the nation spellbound in the 1990s.

He is alleged to have committed 53 armed robberies and several murder cases. It has also been reported that Taj Abdul was arrested after several shootouts with the police.

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However, Justice Chikowero Monday saw it fit to release him from prison on bail. Chikowero placed Taj Abdul on four bail conditions.

“He deposits RTGS $5000 with the Clerk of Court Harare Magistrates Court.

“He resides at Number 12 Adams Avenue, St Martins Harare until this matter is finalised

“He reports at Sunningdale 2 Police Station every Friday between 6am and 6pm

“He does not interfere with state witnesses,” read the bail ruling.

Before they could post bail money yesterday, police brought up fresh charges against Abdul and his four accomplices and requested that they remain in custody pending their remand hearing on the new charges and further investigations.

In a brief statement, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday said: “As far as we are concerned, Musa Taj Abdul is still under remand and if there are any changes, we wait to be advised by the relevant Judiciary department.”