By Reason Razao
THE police have been granted authority to further detain seven suspected armed robbers, who allegedly killed and robbed a Marondera businessman Lucas Chimoka (62), last week.
Police say they needed time to carry out investigations and were given up until Friday to do so by the court.
The seven suspects are Josephat Muchenje, Bright Magodhi, Crispen Kado, Felix Dapi, Taenda Mudzangairi, Elias Muchipuwa and Jeremiah Tafirenyika.
Detective Chief Inspector Alexander Jachi, who is in charge of CID Homicide Harare, said cops needed an opportunity to thoroughly investigate a string of robberies and murders across two provinces linked to accused persons.
“Time is needed to facilitate the recovery of the stolen property. There is need for time to allow the accused person to make indications on how they committed the offences of which offences were committed across two provinces.
“There is a need for the accused persons to assist in the arrest of the other outstanding accused persons and to participate in the identification parade,” said Jachi.
According to a police affidavit, the assailants broke into the now deceased Chimoka’s house and demanded cash from him and his wife, before stabbing the former with a spear.
“The accused persons used an unknown object to force open the kitchen stable door to gain entrance into the house.
“Some accused persons went to other rooms while the other accused persons proceeded to the main bedroom.
“One was wearing a balaclava and they went to the bedroom where the now deceased and his wife were asleep. The accused person, who was wearing a balaclava, was armed with a spear and the other one had a pistol, make (type) unknown.
“The duo woke up the now deceased and his wife Miriam Chimoka threatening to shoot them with a pistol whilst demanding money. There was no light in the room, the now deceased and his wife cried for help and the wife handed the accused cash amounting to US$7 400 and US$500 from the wallet.
“The accused stabbed the now deceased on the left side of the chest just above the nipple with a sharp object,” read the affidavit.
At Chimoka’s residence, the seven suspects reportedly split themselves and separately terrorised occupants of the house, including one Joseph Chigodora, who was left nursing head and back injuries after he was beaten using unknown objects.
The gang also stole an iTel mobile phone and US$10 allegedly from a house helper.
Following a tip off, according to the affidavit, detectives proceeded to house number 16 Churchill Road, Marlborough, Harare.
“Upon arrival detectives mounted the cortege, identified themselves as police and ordered Josephat Muchenje to surrender himself,” reads the affidavit.
Whilst the police was conducting a search at Muchenje’s house, where they recovered two cutting discs, Bright Magodhi arrived and was immediately apprehended.
After being interviewed, Muchenje and Magodhi implicated Kado, Dapi and Mudzangairi as their accomplices.
In movie style act, police used Muchenje and Magodhi to lure Kado who was apprehended at the footbridge along Julius Nyerere in the Central Business District (CBD) of Harare. He then indicated that he was a police officer on suspension stationed at ZRP Rhodesville.
Further follow ups were made leading to the arrest of Dapi and Mudzangairi, at Total Service Station at Corner Samora Machel Avenue and Chinhoyi Street in Harare.
Goods recovered included an SQ cell phone recovered from an abandoned Toyota Fortuner that was left by the accused persons and was part of the property which was stolen at Rakodzi School in Marondera.
Police also recovered four 9mm live rounds of ammunition stashed in a wardrobe drawer at Kado’s house.