Mathew Masinge, Court Reporter
A recent High Court decision to grant notorious armed robber Musa Taj Abdul bail has sparked public outcry.
Abdul (47) and two other co-accused persons Godfrey Mupanhanga (27) and Tapiwa Kanhanga (29) were admitted to bail by Justice Benjamin Chikowero.
Abdul and Mupamhanga were ordered to pay $5 000 whilst Kanhaga will part with $2 000 for their freedom.
As part of their bail conditions, the trio was ordered to reside at their given address and report to the police every Friday between 6 am and 6 pm until the matter has been finalized.
Reports say Abdul, who was arrested in August this year, has been evading arrest and escaping police shootouts for the past 20 years.
The trio is facing several charges involving armed robbery with alleged crimes committed in and around the country.
One of the famous robberies linked to Abdul and crew was the attack at Borrowdale’s Trauma Centre where break-ins and more than US$3 000 was reportedly stolen.
Another alleged incident occurred on July 24, where the accused persons hatched a plan to rob Lyle Leonard Wilsons before proceeding to Longford Street in Queensdale.
Upon arrival, the gang removed precast wall panels, gained entry and assaulted Wilsons and his wife.
“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.
“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,” alleges the State.
Further to the crime;
“The accused persons 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 gang 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.”
Yesterday social media was flooded with protests against the granting of bail.
Below are some of the comments:
Imagine being the informant whose information led to the arrest of these guys; and you hear they have just been released on bail!- Tinashe Shamuyashe
They will surely skip bail. And then folks will feign surprise. – Admire Taguma Musingarabwi
How bail works. Accused is innocent till proven guilty. Onus is on stakeholders to complete all matters necessary for trial. Police investigations completed and witnesses, defence time to prepare outline, court date set, prison has no van or fuel. Time consuming. So Bail – BokitisaMotema
Human “rights” what-what is the argument. Zvakaoma @PoliceZimbabwe will be quite upset. They must simply appeal the bogus judgement –Gerald Maguranyanga PILOT
This is unbelievable releasing such a dangerous criminal. There is urgent need to revisit our laws on bail –
This will surely demoralise the police, next time they will take a bribe – @Mdusiwela
This type will disappear for another 20 years or more before Christmas – Moses Gwaindepi
It’s not the judge bro but the prosecutors. If he was involved in a gun fight with the police what other evidence do they need? @ZACConline may need to investigate the prosecutor. Most cases are thrown out even though there’s evidence bcoz of “bungling” by prosecutors -Tendayi Manyange
Explains why sometimes the @PoliceZimbabwe shoot to kill. This frustrates their efforts, dai vakangosanganisa musoro ne bara, zvakapera. Now they have been given rimwe basa to monitor mabhinya –Titus Moyowangu
(Minister) Ziyambi Ziyambi should be reversing this kind of nonsense and investigating how a high court judge can come to such a callous judgment. This judgment is clearly unthought and puts the general public in serious danger. Musa is no Father Christmas -Jowee.
Doesn’t make sense. The granting of bail to this guy is NOT in the interests of justice. The facts themselves show that he is a flight risk, he is facing serious offences and likely to get a prison term. Does the court think he will come for his trial under such conditions? – Parapinda Parapinda
I think the judiciary is not fit enough to help us.. wanted for 20yrs and caught in a gun fight.. then granted bail.. this is rubbish.. IAN VAN DER CHOOSTER
Threats to human lives and property easily get bail but those that speak on behalf of ‘humanity’ almost rot in prison being denied bail. What a paradox! -Hillary Mutede
Does this make any sense, 20 years on the run, armed robberies and murders, and the guy is give bail and told to report once a week to a police station. Giving him enough time to escape – INyamuranga