Suspected armed robbers complain of torture

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Blessing Masakadza

STAFF WRITER

masakadzab@dailynews.co.zw

 

A GANG of alleged notorious armed robbers suspected to have committed a spate of robberies around the country appeared in court yesterday.

Musa Taj Abdul, Liberty Mupamhanga, Prince Makodza, Godfrey Mupamhanga, Charles Lundu, Rudolph Kanhanga, Innocent Jairos and Tapiwa Mangoma are facing armed robbery allegations and unlawful possession of firearms.

Abdul and Lundu are also facing separate charges involving armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms. This follows their arrest in Beitbridge on Monday.

Yesterday, the eight through their lawyers told the court that they were brutalised by the police when they were arrested.

They claimed they were put in leg irons and made to lie on their stomachs while handcuffed before dogs were set on them.

They showed the court various injuries they suffered from being mauled by dogs and requested that they be medically examined.

The lawyers told the court that while in Harare at CID Homicide, the attacks on them continued with the gang allegedly being forced to confess.

They claimed the treatment was next to torture, being put on the “notorious bridge”, an alleged form of punishment.

The eight were not asked to plead to the allegations when they appeared before Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti- Guuriro.

They were remanded in custody to September 10 and were advised to apply for bail at the High Court.

It also emerged that some of the suspects such as Liberty Mupamhanga were on outstanding warrants of arrest having defaulted court after being granted bail on other matters.

Among the allegations is an alleged incident on December 30 where they allegedly pounced on a Budiriro family where they allegedly robbed them of money before firing shots and disappearing.

On February 5 this year, they are alleged to have pounced on money changers at Makoni business centre in Chitungwiza.

On July 24, the accused persons who were in the company of their other accomplices still at large allegedly pounced on a family in Queensdale while driving separate vehicles and putting on masks. They robbed wares worth over US$7 000.

On July 25, they allegedly pounced on Trauma Centre hospital in Borrowdale while armed with a shotgun and a pistol.

They confronted the security guards before firing shots and attacking them while demanding to know where the safe was kept. They allegedly broke inside attacking the receptionist before making away with several cell-phones.

Reports are that they sped off after one of the guards alerted the owners of the hospital resulting in a high speed chase.

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