How robbers pounced on passengers

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HARARE – Eight men who were on the police wanted list and suspected to be the late armed robber, Boris Mushonga’s accomplices have been charged over a spate of robberies committed around Harare.

Details of how they operated were revealed in court yesterday.

The eight, Tatenda Tavhira, 23, Lazarus Jimu, 23, Maxwell Mushongera, 22 , Chamunorwa Machingauta, 27, Rodney Akende, 37, Rodwell Undi, 33, Bernard Kaitano, 31, and Mugove Chikukwe, 25, yesterday appeared before Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo facing robbery charges.

They were all arrested at Mushonga’s funeral wake.

Mushonga and four others died in a horror crash last week after their Toyota Raum was involved in a head-on collision with a Muzeya bus near Zindoga Shopping Centre in Harare.

The group’s lawyer in his bail application argued the police had not carried out thorough investigations as the accused persons had only attended a funeral in their neighbourhood with no connection between them and the alleged offences.

Prosecutor Tungamirai Chakurira opposed bail and ruling on the application expected today.

Allegations against Tavhira, Jimu, Mushongera and Machingauta are that they robbed Takudzwa Fusira on July 8 this year, after offering him a lift from Eastlea into the city centre.

The four were driving an unregistered white Toyota Fun Cargo, the court heard.

They reportedly drove towards the city centre and when they arrived at East 24 Restaurant along Samora Machel, the court heard one of the accused told Fusira that he had boarded a robbers’ car before the others searched him, taking his Nokia 1208 and $70.

Fusira was allegedly dumped, before they four sped off.

He reported the matter to the police and on October 21 detectives received a tip off that the accused persons were attending Mushonga’s funeral, leading to their arrest in Mbare.

Chakurira further told the court that on July 26 this year,  Solomon Munjaranji was at corner Second Street extension and Julius Nyerere Street in Harare looking for transport to go to Hatcliffe.

Akende, Undi, Kaitano and Chikukwe, who were driving a black Toyota Raum without number plates, offered Munjaranji a lift.

When they arrived at Tongogara Street, the court heard, the gang turned left, grabbed Munjaranji by the neck and searched him.

It is the State’s case that they took a Sony Ericsson cell phone, digital camera, pair of Adidas shoes and $180 from Munjaranji before ditching him at corner Second and Mazowe Streets.

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