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Fresh charges for Fourwinds armed robbers

The three suspected armed robbers who were arrested during a shootout with the police in Bulawayo’s Fourwinds suburb returned to court facing fresh charges of armed robbery dating back to last year.

The suspects are alleged to have robbed numerous people and companies at gunpoint and shot at those who tried to resist.

The state is charging them with a string of armed robbery crimes they allegedly committed dating back from October 2020 to August 2021.

Nkosilathi Ncube (42) of Gwanda is now being represented by Robert Ndlovu of R Ndlovu and Company, Mthokozisi Moyo (37) of Plumtree is now being represented by Jabulani Ndubiwa of Mashayamombe and Company while Makhosi Bryan Nkomo (31) of Mpopoma suburb is still being represented by Bob Sansole of Dube, Mguni, Dube Legal Practitioners.

Ncube is still admitted to United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) after sustaining gunshot wounds during the exchange of fire with the police.

When they appeared for their initial remand, Wednesday, their lawyers lodged complaints against the arresting police officers citing that they were severely beaten into admitting to other offences they “knew nothing about.”

“Your Worship, on behalf of all the accused persons, we would like to file a complaint against the police officers. They were thoroughly beaten with golf clubs all over their bodies and sustained injuries in an effort to force them to admit to charges they knew nothing about,” Sansole said.

“Furthermore they were denied the right to seek medical assistance for the assault wounds. Another accused person is hospitalised after being shot at by the police, that would suffice as a complaint. They were also denied the right to communicate with their family members that they had been detained by the police.”

For the State, Denmark Chihombe said for convenient tracking and prosecution of the matters, all the separate counts for the three suspects will be married into one record.

Chihombe told the court that on October 15, at around 7 PM, Nkomo and his accomplices, armed with a pistol, an axe and a machete proceeded to house number 5523 Cowdray Park and attacked one Betty Moyo.

“They knocked at Moyo’s door and when she opened they struck her on the head with the back of an axe. They dragged her to the bedroom and demanded money. They stole ZAR44 400 and two cellphones and fled the scene,” said Chihombe.

“On October 19, using the same modus operandi, they proceeded to one Lewis Simbi’s house and demanded money. Simbi tried to resist and Nkomo fired a warning shot into the bathroom threatening to kill Simbi. They were then given a bag containing ZAR41 000, a power bank, charger and the house spare keys.”

“On October 23, 2020,” Chihombe said, “They attacked one Nokuthula Dube around midnight at her residential home in Khumalo suburb where they got away with US$34 000, ZAR210 000 and a 9 mm Luger pistol.”

Chihombe further alleged that on April 27, 2021, Nkomo and seven other accomplices who are still at large, intercepted Romicon security company vehicle at Choppies Supermarket in Parklands suburb where it was collecting cash.

“They fired gunshots and disarmed the security guards before stealing cash boxes containing ZWL$194 287, US$11 315 and ZAR35 595. The accused persons had two cars,  Ford, in which they loaded their loot and a Honda Fit which was being driven by Nkomo.”

The court heard that on March 5, 2021, Moyo and his crew went to Masiyephambili College and demanded keys to the administration block from the security guard, Tawanda Ndlovu.

“They threatened him with a firearm and force-marched him to the caretaker’s house (Bethel Moyo) to collect the keys. Moyo shot the caretaker on the thigh then dragged him to the administration block. Leaving one gang member guarding at the reception, they ransacked the offices. They were however disturbed by a team of safeguard officers and they fled the scene before they could take anything,” Chihombe narrated.

“On June 14, 2021, they went to Jasbro in Belmont. They got keys from the security guard and once inside they disabled the CCTV. While ransacking the offices they were disturbed by security guards. Moyo fired at one of the guards, Daniel Mudanguranwa and grazed him on the head with a bullet.”

On July 31, 2021, and at number 15 Connolly, Kingsdale, Moyo and an accomplice still at large jumped over the durawall and threatened the garden boy and the builder with a pistol.

“The complainant then came out of his house and saw the accused persons. They demanded money and he resisted. Moyo shot him twice in the right leg and dragged him to the house where they stole ZAR5 000 and they also stole his Toyota Vanguard,” Chihombe said.

“On June 25, 2021, and at 6:30 PM, the accused persons attacked one Leon Mapanduki at Arienel Crescent and Cherly intersection in Fourwinds suburb. They ordered him to stop at gunpoint but he did not comply. He kept driving and they shot at him.

“Mapanduki stopped his car outside number 7 Arienel Crescent and fled on foot. The accused persons jumped into his car and drove off before later dumping it at number 4 Newton West Estate. They went away with US$5 000, two cellphones and a 9mm Smith and Wesson pistol belonging to Mapanduki.”

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