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2 Masvingo Highway armed robbers arrested

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2 Masvingo Highway armed robbers arrested


Garikai Mafirakureva

HARARE- On December 23, 2022, Police arrested two members of the six-member gang that terrorised travellers along Harare-Masvingo highway and around Masvingo since January 2022. In a statement released by Acting Provincial Criminal Investigations Department (CID) spokesperson Detective Assistant Inspector, Rachael Muteweri, acting on a tip off, detectives arrested Joshua Rambique aged (29) and Karen Gidi (27) both of Ushewokunze in Harare.
Assistant Detective Inspector Muteweri further said the criminals would pose as genuine travellers at Mbudzi Roundabout and later at Boka Auction Floors after Mbudzi was cleared to pave way for the construction of an interchange, and later rob the motorists and commuters by strangling them with seat belts after producing pistols and knives.
However, police picked information Rambique was visiting his sister in Glenview and pursued him before apprehending him in Ushewokunze. Upon his arrest, detectives recovered an Apple iPad and an Epson printer which have since been linked to armed robberies which occurred in Kadoma and Norton respectively. Ramabique then implicated Gidi.
The other two gang members Richard Banda alias Stephen Gaza also known as George Banda (26) and Shamiso Gidi (21) both of Ushewokunze, Harare were arrested in November 2022 and have since appeared in court and were remanded in custody to December 30, 2022. The two are facing 11 counts of armed robbery.
According to a police statement in one incident, the gang which constantly alternated its female members to gain trust of their potential victims allegedly boarded a Toyota IST from Masvingo to Roy (Zaka Tun off) before robbing the motorist of his motor vehicle and groceries at gun point. They later tied him with a seat belt.
On August 15, 2022, the gang boarded a Honda fit travelling from Harare to Beitbridge before producing pistols and robbing the driver of his motor vehicle, a Samsung Galaxy Note 10, cash amounting to US$ 4 100 and ZWL$20 000. They later tied him to a tree using a seat belt.
Two days later, using the same modus operandi they boarded a white Toyota corolla which was travelling to Beitbridge from Harare and robbed the complainant of his motor vehicle, a Y5 cell phone and US$918.
The gang which was later using a Toyota Wish, offered a lift to a traveller from Masvingo to Zvishavane and robbed him US$640-00 before dumping him on the highway. All the motor vehicles which were robbed and used in committing crime were recovered dumped in different locations including Mbare, Mushagashe Business Centre and Exor Service station in Masvingo and also along Masvingo-Mutare Highway.
“We encourage the motoring public to desist from picking up strangers when traveling as they risk losing their valuables to criminals. In the same vein, the commuting public is urged to utilise public transport and board at designated places.
“While we have put the shoulder to the wheel to account for malcontents within society, criminal elements continue to hover perilously, thus people should never loosen their guard this festive season and beyond. We also appeal for information leading to the arrest the outstanding gang members, namely Patrick Chikafa alias Jimmy or James and Shylene Gidi both of Ushewokunze in Harare,” reads part of Muteweri’s statement.

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