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Suspected armed robbers remanded in custody

The three suspected armed robbers who were arrested during a shootout with the police in Bulawayo’s Fourwinds suburb have been further remanded in custody to next month.

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

The trio is appearing at the Tredgold magistrates’ court facing numerous counts of armed robbery and are yet to enter their plea.

Bulawayo magistrate Marygold Ndlovu did not ask them to plead to their charges but remanded them in custody until September 13, 2021.

The State alleges that the suspects are responsible for a series of armed robbery cases that were committed in and around the city dating back from October 2020 to August 2021 when they were apprehended in the midst of committing a similar offence.

Ncube was shot at the crime scene while exchanging fire with the police and is admitted to United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).

Three other suspects Thamsanqa Mpofu of Kezi, Arnold Mpofu (39) and Nomore Hove (39) (both from Gweru) succumbed to gunshot wounds during a shootout with police.

State representative, Mandla Ndlovu told the court that for convenient tracking and prosecution of the matters, all the separate counts for the three suspects will be married into one record.

Ndlovu 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 Ndlovu.

“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.”

Ndlovu 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,” Ndlovu 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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