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Detective links firearm to Taj Abdul crime scene

By Prosper Dembedza

In the trial of nine suspected armed robbers who include Musa Taj Abdul on charges of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition on Monday, Detective Innocent Dube, the second witness, said the barrel of the firearm recovered in their possession showed that gunshots had been fired and that it matched rounds fired at crime scenes.

Musa Taj Abdul (second from right) and other suspected armed robbers at Harare Magistrates court yesterday
Musa Taj Abdul (second from right) and other suspected armed robbers at the Harare Magistrates Court

The firearms charge is the first involving Taj Abdul, Liberty Mupamhanga, Prince Makodza, Godfrey Mupamhanga, Charles Lundu, Rudolf Kamhanga, Innocent Jairos, Tapiwa Mangoma and Carrington Marasha, that has reached the trial stage.

Det Dube from CID Forensic and Ballistics told the court that on August 27 last year, the ballistics section received the arms and ammunition and on examination of the firearm, they found out that it was properly functioning.

“The barrel of the firearm showed that it had deposits of gunshot residue indicating that it was fired in committing crimes around the country. The firearm matched characteristics picked from different crime scenes across the country,” he said.

The nine, through their lawyers, are denying the allegations.

The court heard that on August 24 last year, detectives from CID Drugs and Narcotics Beitbridge received information that the suspects, who were on the police wanted list, were at 1184 Mashakada, in Dulivhadzimu suburb.

The detectives mobilised other police including from Support Unit and canine section, and surrounded the house before notifying the gang of their presence. The nine bolted out of their room and started running in different directions.

Police gave chase and subsequently arrested them and took them back to their room where searches were done, leading to the recovery of a 9×19mm Vector Z88 pistol with its serial numbers obliterated, 11x9x19mm live cartridges and 20×12 bore live cartridges on a webbing belt. They were recovered in a black satchel stashed in a washing basket. The Herald