Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Four people have died, while eight others suffered serious injuries after a six-member gang of robbers pounced on people in Hatcliffe and Kuwadzana in Harare and Ruwa since the beginning of the year.
The gang of robbers – two women and four men – appeared in court yesterday facing 12 counts of murder and attempted murder.
Nelson Nyarambi (33), Bothwell Zigomo (31), Raymond Nyajina (21), Sebastian Mademo (27), Talent Gwada (24) and Nelia Mushonga (20) – all from Epworth – appeared before Ms Barbara Chimboza.
They were remanded in custody to June 12 with instructions to apply for bail at the High Court due to the seriousness of the offences they were facing.
Prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that on January 4 at around midnight, the now deceased Ophius Mudadi parked his motor vehicle, which he was using as a taxi, at a nightclub in Kuwadzana.
He was subsequently approached by the gang who “hired” him on the pretext they were going to Tynwald.
Along the way, the gang reportedly grabbed the now deceased, tied his hands and legs with seat- belts and fatally assaulted him with iron bars on his head.
They took all his valuables, including cash and a mobile phone, before dumping his body along a footpath near Tynwald Gardens.
They drove away in his car which they later stripped and dumped in Epworth, the court heard.
On May 18 at around 9pm, the six waylaid Robert Bobo at a railway line in Ruwa.
They allegedly attacked him, tore his shirt and trousers which they in turn used to tie his hands and legs before stealing his money and cell phone.
They assaulted him with iron bars and bricks until he died.
A few days later, the gang attacked, John Nhire, a commuter omnibus driver who was on his way to Hatcliffe Shopping Centre car park to get his kombi.
The accused allegedly stoned him and he fell to the ground.
They manhandled him and searched him before stealing his cellphone, pair of shoes and kombi keys.
They stabbed him in the chest and neck leaving him for dead.
Nhire, who was lying unconscious beside the road, was found at around 5am by Patrick Sagwiza, who rushed him to hospital where he died on arrival.
The fourth victim was James Meki. It is the State’s case that on May 23, at around 4am, the now deceased was on his way to work when the gang pounced on him along Kuyanana Road in Hat- cliffe.
The gang allegedly stoned and stabbed Meki several times all over his body.
They stole his valuables and disappeared, the court heard.
Meki was rushed to the hospital by a passer-by but was was pronounced dead on arrival.
The State alleged that the suspects also followed Julias Sinjami who was on his way home in Ruwa from the shops and grabbed him from behind.
They used bricks to assault him until he lost consciousness.
The gang stripped him and stole his clothes, mobile phone and $22 cash.
Sinjami, who sustained serious injuries, was rushed to the hospital where he is admitted.
On the same day, the accused waylaid Ngonidzashe Darare at around 9pm in the same area and severely assaulted him on the head with iron bars and bricks.
They searched him and took away his mobile phones and a jacket.
It is alleged that they used his T-shirt to tie his hands and legs, and left him lying unconscious.
Darare sustained serious head injuries.
The following day, it is alleged, they attacked Simbarashe Mutimbwa along the Harare-Mutare Road and left him for dead after stealing his valuables.
Later the same night, it is alleged, the gang assaulted Willard Sasimba at a rail crossing in Ruwa. They severely assaulted him on the head with iron bars.
The gang stripped him and stole his clothes, phone and $44 cash.
Using the same methods, the gang descended on four other victims who sustained serious injuries and are battling for lives at a local hospital.
One of the victims, Godfrey Matiki, who was stabbed several times, lost $1 to the gang.