Passengers lose cash, cellphones to robbers

Crime Reporter 

A gang of four armed robbers in a red Honda Fit registration number AFD8585 offered lifts in Harare and attacked their passengers in two incidents and stole cash, cellphones and valuables.

Police have since launched a manhunt for the robbers. 

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi warned people against boarding pirate taxis and private cars as they might end up being robbed.

“Police in Harare are appealing for information which may assist in the investigations of two robberies which occurred in Harare where four unknown suspects travelling in a red Honda Fit, registration number AFD8585, robbed the complainants after offering them a lift in two different incidents,” he said. 

In the first robbery on Wednesday at around 11.30pm, the suspects offered a lift to Ruwa, from the corner of Fifth Street and Robert Mugabe Road, a common pick-up point, before attacking the passenger along the way and stealing a cellphone, a security guard uniform and US$56 cash.”

The next day at around midnight, the suspects offered a lift to two people who were going to Murehwa at corner Fifth Street and Samora Machel Avenue, before attacking them and stealing both cellphones and US$165 cash. 

Meanwhile, on Friday, police in Saruwe arrested Welcome Darikwa (25) in connection with impersonating a police officer. 

The suspect demanded bribes from shop owners and artisanal miners while pretending to be a police officer.

The day before at Norwood Farm in Selous, Darikwa allegedly took US$58 as a “bribe” from an artisanal miner for failing to produce an Environmental Management Agency licence.

He had allegedly approached the miner pretending to be a detective from CID Minerals Flora and Fauna Unit deployed to check licences at mines and shops in the area.

In a related incident, police in Harare arrested a foreigner, Kandakatla Surrender, for offering a US$300 bribe to officials from the Zimbabwe Confederation of Trade Unions that had approached him, who is the director of a local mining and exploration company, to inquire on the arrears of vacation leave days for employees. These had mounted to US$190 000 since 2019.

Asst Comm Nyathi said on Thursday, police officers deployed at a security roadblock at the 289km peg along the Harare-Chirundu highway arrested Miriam Gakavaza (40), Judith Mubvunzi (35), Otilia Moyo (52) and Tawanda Muvingi (40), for smuggling four bales of assorted second-hand clothes, 25 cases of 2-litre drinks, 50 boxes of biscuits, five 1-litre Glyforce and 5 packs of Paragould. 

The goods were stashed on the bus that the suspects were travelling on.

Farai Kaseke (50), the bus driver, was also arrested for failure to comply with the police’s instructions after he refused to drive the bus to ZRP Makuti.

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