Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
Infamous suspected armed robber Musa Taj Abdul and his seven accomplices were yesterday dragged to court facing fresh charges of armed robbery.
Abdul and his alleged accomplices Liberty Mupamhanga, Prince Makodza, Godfrey Mupamhanga, Charles Lundu, Rudolf Kanhanga, Innocent Jairos and Tapiwa Mangoma were not asked to plead when they appeared before Harare provincial head magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro, who remanded them in custody to December 31.
The notorious gang was granted bail by the High Court in unclear circumstances that has also led to the arrest of prosecutor Tinashe Kasema.
In the fresh charges, State prosecutor Idah Maromo alleged that on July 23 the gang pounced on one Andrew Murwisi at Murambinda growth point in Buhera armed with pistols and iron bars.
They allegedly forced entry into his supermarket and confronted him at gunpoint while demanding money and other valuables from him.
It is alleged that they struck the complainant with a metal bar to force him to surrender.
They allegedly robbed him of cell phones, his pistol, US$5 000, R2000 and $5 000 in local currency.
The State also alleges that they fired some shots as they jumped into their vehicle and fled the scene.
The gang is facing several other counts of murder and armed robbery.
The gang is suspected to have committed most of its robberies in the capital. One of the many complainants is Vivek Solanki, the owner of the Trauma Centre in Borrowdale, Harare where the gang stole over U$3 000 at the medical facility.
Other allegations are that on July 24 this year, the accused persons who were in the company of other accomplices still at large, hatched a plan to rob Lyle Leonard Wilsons and proceeded to 4 Longford Street in Queensdale Harare, driving in separate vehicles.
On arrival, they removed some precast wall panels to gain entry.
“Whilst inside the premises, the accused who were putting on face masks and armed with a shotgun and a pistol forced open the lounge door with an iron bar and gained entry,” reads court papers.
“They confronted the complainant Lyle Leonard Wilson’s brother-in-law who was seated in the lounge. He shouted for help and fled towards the kitchen intending to escape through the back door where he bumped into one of the accused persons who was standing outside the house.
“They manhandled him tied his hands from behind with shoelaces. The accused persons went on to confront the complainant who had locked himself in the bedroom from inside together with his wife and children.
The court record continues; “They forced open the door with an iron bar and confronted the complainant and his wife before ordering them to lie down on the floor while covering the complainant’s wife with a blanket.”
Wilson was assaulted as the robbers demanded cash and valuables from him while they were also ransacking the bedroom.
“They stole cash amounting to US$1 473 from the complainant’s wife handbag and five cellphones, handbags, eyeglasses, power banks, face masks and valuables.
“On the other charge, the accused persons also robbed other companies, stealing valuable goods while holding arms. The amount value of goods stolen is US$7 516 and $3 565 on both counts respectively.”
They were ordered to appear in court today when prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa is expected to give them trial dates.