Ex-convicts caught with guns soon after prison release

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FIVE Domboshawa suspected armed robbers who terrorised people in and around Harare looting property worth thousands of dollars and over $100 000 cash have been nabbed.

Luckmore Chibira, 31, Knowlege Sanyika, 36, Enerst Manzunzu, 38, Tafadzwa shumba, 28, Ngonidzashe Mujaya, 38, appeared before Harare magistrate Eric Kadye on Saturday.

Chibira was facing five armed robbery counts, a charge of unlawful possession of firearms and was also charged for contravening the Explosives Act. He also appeared on other robbery charges with Sanyika and Mujaya.

Mujaya denied charges and nailed Chibira, his cousin, saying he was the one who was moving around committing crimes.

Kadye ordered the suspects to reserve the arguments for the trial.

Court heard other offences were committed before Shumba and Manzunzu were granted amnesty by President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently.

The two were only charged with unlawful possession of firearms and for contravening the Explosives Act.

According to prosecutor Idah Maromo, on March 29 this year the police received a tip off with regards to the gang planning their next robbery.

Court heard the police were told that the suspects were going to meet at a service station near Domboshawa Showground.

Acting upon the information, the detectives went to the area and spotted the
get away Toyota Wish parked at Nash Tyre Service.

While the wheel of their vehicle was being repaired, the accused disembarked from the car and started chatting while outside.

Court heard the police suddenly pounced on the suspects and fired warning shots ordering them to lie down.

The gang was arrested and upon search of their vehicle the police recovered a CZ pistol, serial number 1134, a Wembley and Scott pistol whose serial numbers had been erased and a Mob Brevete pistol serial number 347894.

It is alleged that they also recovered a satchel which had fused detonators and another bag which contained 16 explosives.

A knife and a hammer, garden pick and 14 pounds hammer were also found in the boot of the car.

But the suspects also accused the police of stealing nearly $4 000 from them during arrest, saying they were only given $700 to look for lawyers.

They told the court that they asked about their money and were threatened with death if they ever tried to pursue the case or expose the police.

Kadye ordered the state to investigate the allegations.

The suspects will be back in court on April 13 pending their trial.