Latest on Mashwede robbers

Crime Reporter

A team of police forensic experts and fingerprint scientists have been roped in to assist in investigating the case in which four robbers recently raided a Mashwede Holdings food court and two other premises in Southlea Park, Harare.

Police yesterday said they are still hunting the gang of four armed robbers who got away with a vehicle, a Mitsubishi double cab and more than US$5 000.

The vehicle which had been parked at the premises for safe keeping was later found dumped in Nyatsime area and also near the scene was the safe containing the cash which had been robbed at Mashwede Holdings.

The scene was then attended by a team from the CID Scenes of Crime section which is responsible for evidence gathering by scientifically examining crime scenes, gathering fingerprint evidence and linking suspects to crimes that would have been committed.

According to police, the net will soon close in on the armed robbers as they have intensified investigations.

Police said the robbers, who were armed with a pistol and a rifle, first attacked a security guard who was sitting inside one of the vehicles parked at the premises before tying both his hands and legs with shoe laces before grabbing a second guard, and also tying him up with shoelaces.

The gang then went to Virtue Service Station where they used a hammer to break a metal screen to gain entry into the premises. They then ransacked a butchery and took away US$290 which was in one of the drawers inside an office before proceeding to a mini market at the premises where they stole electrical appliances.

Investigations revealed that the gang went to the third compartment which houses Chicken Mash owned by Mashwede Holdings and forcibly broke the aluminum doors with a hammer before attempting to break a safe which was containing cash, but failed.

So the gang then pushed the safe outside and loaded it on to a Mitsubishi double cab which had been parked at the premises for safe keeping. The vehicle was found dumped in Nyatsime area in Chitungwiza as investigations continue.
This was not the first time that Mashwede Holdings has been hit by armed robbers.

In 2020, armed robbers raided Mashwede Holdings and got away with over US$100 000, R42 000, $14 000 worth of fuel coupons, firearms and 20 live rounds of ammunition. The heist allegedly involved five Mashwede Holdings workers and nine robbers.

Among the five workers were two brothers related to the business owner, while two were security guards.

The five workers, Musafare Mupamhanga and Conwell Kasambarare (26), were then arrested and appeared in court where their case is still pending.

Spicer Takawira and Mupamhanga, who were wanted for committing a spate of armed robberies, housebreakings and thefts around the city, were last year arrested following a shootout with police in Glen View 7, Harare.

Police in November roped in Interpol to help in tracking down one of Zimbabwe’s most wanted armed robbery suspects, Kasambarare who is believed to be part of the famous Musa Taj Abdul gang.

He is facing a plethora of robbery and housebreaking charges. Kasambarare recently jumped bail and police have launched a massive manhunt for him.

He was re-arrested early last year on charges of committing a spate of heists countrywide, including the famous Mashwede Holdings robbery.

Kasambarare was granted bail last month but failed to turn up in court for his latest remand hearing, prompting the issuance of a warrant of arrest.

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