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Rogue soldiers and police robbery gang in the dock

A 27-year-old man who is suspected to be part of the armed gang impersonating soldiers and police officers robbing a Borrowdale man of $104 150, claiming the money was part of former Finance minister Ignatius Chombo’s hidden loot has appeared in court.

Unemployed Philani Dhliwayo of Epworth(27), appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa charged with robbery and unlawful possession of ammunition and was remanded in custody to February 1.

Allegations are that on December 16 last year, Bezel Mazarure(28), Tawanda Chawira(23), who are already on remand on the same matter along with five other accomplices, who are still on the run, armed themselves with a pistol and headed to Albert Chawira’s Borrowdale home.

It was reported that two of the suspects were in army regalia, one in police uniform and the rest in their civilian attire, acting on inside information supplied by Tawanda, the gang scaled the precast wall at the complainant’s house and smashed the kitchen window to gain entry. One of the occupants, Trymore Masiya, allegedly heard some noise and decided to check the cause when he met the suspects in the passage and rushed upstairs shouting for help. They allegedly pushed him before he could get to the complainant’s bedroom and forced their way into the main bedroom.
While inside the bedroom, one of the suspects produced a silver pistol and pointed it to Albert, demanding cash and other valuables.

The accused persons allegedly told the complainant that they had information that he had received some money from Chombo. In shock, Albert allegedly went to his wardrobe and took a bag containing $20 000 and handed it over to Mazarure. They started assaulting him demanding more money before they ransacked the room and stole $84 000 which was stashed under the bed, some mobile phones and stormed out of the house.

Chawira later lodged a complaint with the police, leading to Tawanda’s arrest on January 5, when investigations linked him to the robbery.

On January 12, at around 1700 hours, Dhliwayo and his accomplices, Prince Makodza and Gerald Mupandare were involved in a road accident along Harare- Mukumbura Road. Dhliwayo disappeared from the scene and Mupandare and Makodza were taken to Mt Darwin Police Station by well-wishers. Officers from Mt Darwin ZRP rushed the duo to the hospital where Mupandare was pronounced dead on arrival.

A search was conducted at their accident damaged vehicle where two pistols and 16 live rounds were recovered.
Zimbabwe republic Police and Zimbabwe National Army uniforms were recovered along with one green bolt cutter.
On January 19, police officers received information to the effect that Dhliwayo was at corner 8th Street and Central Avenue. Police swift reaction to the intel led to his arrest.

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