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Four suspected armed robbers in court, bail application thrown out

Four suspected armed robbers who robbed unsuspecting people of various items including vehicles after pretending to be police officers or people on mission to buy potatoes were on Tuesday arraigned before the court in Harare facing three counts of armed robbery and had their bail application thrown away.

In denying them bail, the court argued that one of the suspects had previous convictions in Chegutu, whilst the other was arrested following a protracted encounter with the police.

It was also cited that some of the suspects’ accomplices are still at large.

Pardon Dziva who was representing the State told the court that on count 1, the suspects comprising of Godknows Mukavi (33) of Number 2007, Jacha Epworth; Yuda Kampira alias Charles Muzvidziwa, Brian Dzvokora (45) of 2060 Kurojakukura, Hatfield; Munyaradzi Gumbo (43) of Room A, Block 13, Nyerere Flats, Mbare; Tatenda Madzudzo (28) of Domboshawa village, Mverechena, Domboshawa and Happiness Mutsago (41) of Fidelity Houses, Harare, allegedly hatched a plan to steal.

On January 26 this year, Mukavi acting in common purpose with his co-accused, allegedly approached Tafadzwa Marume under the pretext of hiring his Nissan Atlas vehicle purporting to be wanting to ferry some potatoes from a farm near Gwebi College.

They agreed to meet the following day at Westgate at 6am, when they would drive to the farm.

The court heard that, on arrival at the farm the next day, Mukavi told the driver to park by the roadside whilst they waited for the farmer who was selling the potatoes.

Kampira later emerged from the bush and was introduced to the driver as the owner of the farm, the court was also told.

They got into the vehicle, but Mukavi then produced a pistol which he allegedly pointed at the complainant before blindfolding him whilst tying his hands with handcuffs and bundled him in the back of the truck before speeding off.

Mukavi and Kampira were later joined by three other men and drove towards Harare CBD where they later dumped both the complainant and his truck at Africa Unity Square after stealing his two mobile phones and a car radio as well as the car’s number plates.

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On the second count which took place on February 13 this year at around 2pm, Mukavi again hired a Hino Dutro truck from Newman Mutandwa at N. Richards along Bulawayo Road on the pretext that he wanted to ferry some potatoes from Goodhope farm to MbareMusika.

Along the way, Mukavi ordered the driver to stop by the roadside after Westgate shops where his other accomplice whom he had indicated was the seller of potatoes was waiting for them.

After the man had jumped into the truck and using the same modus oparandi, Mukavi produced a pistol and pointed it at the complainant whom they ordered to comply with their instructions after also blindfolding and handcuffing him.

They robbed him of his mobile phone and 20USD cash along the way as they drove to Goodhope farm.

They allegedly picked up an accomplice as they drove to the farm.

At the farm, they saw the security officer, Thomas Mukachana and the suspects allegedly introduced themselves to him as police officers who were on an operation targeting illegal drug dealers.

They added that they had information that the owner of the farm owner was dealing in dangerous drugs.

The security guard managed to notify the farm manager, Thomas Kawanji, who rushed to the scene, but on arrival, the suspects produced a pistol before robbing the pair of two mobile phone and 1500USD cash.

They later drove off with the complainants whom they dumped at Africa Unity Square in Harare.

On the last count, the court heard that during the period extending from September last year to March 31 this year, the suspects committed a spate of armed robberies using a 9mm browning pistol with serial number 74436 which they all used interchangeably.

On March 30 this year, detectives received information to the effect that the suspects were in possession of a firearm leading to the arrest of Mukavi in Epworth who implicated Kampira and Mutsago who were arrested the following day at Mbare Musika aboard a CAG bus to Banket allegedly to commit more crimes.

Upon being searched, the pistol and two other pellet guns were recovered from them concealed in a satchel.

Stanford Mambanje presided over the matter. New Ziana