Businessman loses over US$100 000 to armed robbers, workers
Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
MASHWEDE Holdings lost over US$100 000, R42 000 and $14 000 worth of fuel coupons to five workers and nine suspected robbers, who ransacked safes at the premises before vanishing with two firearms and 20 live rounds of ammunition.
The gang allegedly destroyed the closed-circuit television (CCTV) to conceal the offence.
Among the alleged five workers were two brothers related to the complainant, while two are security guards.
Christopher Mashamhanda (19), Edson Mashamhanda (28), Nevanji Madanhire (27), Dudzai Chidangwara (42) and Martin Mutombwa (23), appeared before magistrate Mrs Victoria Mashamba on Tuesday charged with unlawful entry.
They were freed on $1 000 bail each with stringent conditions and were remanded to April 29.
Two of the suspected robbers have since been arraigned in court. Conwell Kasambarare (28) appeared in court on Saturday, while Musafare Mupamhanga appeared yesterday before magistrate Mrs Sharon Rakafa charged with armed robbery.
They were remanded in custody and advised to apply for bail at the High Court.
Seven members of the gang are still at large.
The five hatched a plan to steal from Mashwede Holdings and on March 31, Edson received keys for the vault safe from Madanhire, who had been instructed by the complainant, Tendai Mashamhanda, to collect cash and make certain payments.
After completing the payments, Edson allegedly deliberately failed to deliver the vault keys to Tendai as per instructions and was constantly giving excuses.
He reportedly told the complainant that he could not travel from his house in Chitungwiza to his workplace to handover the keys due to the 21-day lockdown restrictions.
Edson later reportedly travelled to his rural home in Masvingo on April 2, without returning the keys to the safe.
On April 4, Madanhire was allegedly sent by the complainant to Mashwede Holdings to make further cash transactions. After completing the task, the State alleges that Madanhire deliberately left two biometric security doors, which give access to the vault, partially open for easy access by his accomplices.
Later that day, Christopher arrived at Mashwede Holdings pretending to be accessing the WiFi facility from the company offices.
The following day around midnight, he allegedly teamed up with the security guards, Chidangwara and Mutombwa, who were manning the company offices and managed to enter into the offices through the biometric security doors which had been left partially open by Madanhire.
They allegedly opened a small safe that was mounted to the wall and stole US$27 500, R42 000 and 14 000 Mashwede fuel coupons.
They further opened the vault door using a key they got from Edson and opened three safes and stole US$98 000, a revolver firearm, Tokerev pistol and 20 live rounds of ammunition.
In a bid to cover up the offence, the court heard that the trio removed three safes from the vault and took them to the backyard where they broke them using a hammer.
They also reportedly took the CCTV saver to the backyard and destroyed it, before informing the complainant that there had been a robbery at the offices.
Prosecutors, Mrs Nancy Chandakaona, Mr Lovemore Siyamunda and Peter Kachirika represented the State.