Robbers terrorising motorists along Masvingo Road arrested “Allegations are that the suspect Joseph McCarthy of Woodlands suburb was drinking beer with Munyaradzi Munyanyiwa (41) also of the same area,” said Midlands provincial police spokesperson Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko .

Crime Reporter

Police arrested two more armed robbers who were part of the six-member gang which has been terrorising motorists and commuters along the Harare-Masvingo highway and the Masvingo area in general since January this year.

The daring gun wielding criminals would pretend to be genuine travellers and stop motorists at Mbudzi Roundabout and later Boka Auction Floors after the former was cleared to pave way for the construction of the Mbudzi Interchange. Criminal Investigations Department spokesperson Detective Assistant Inspector Rachel Muteweri said the robbers would later rob the motorists by strangling them with seat belts after producing pistols and knives.

“On December 23, 2022, detectives arrested Joshua Rambique aged 29 and Karen Gidi aged 27 both of Ushewokunze, Harare. This was after they had picked information to the effect that the former was visiting his sister in Glenview.

“They pursued him and later arrested him in Ushewokunze. Upon his arrest, detectives recovered an Apple Ipad and an Epson printer which have since been linked to armed robberies which occurred in Kadoma and Norton respectively. The accused also implicated his female accomplice Karen Gidi aged 27 also of Ushewokunze, Harare,” she said.

She said the other two gang members have already been arrested and have since appeared in court where they were remanded in custody to 30 December 30, 2022.

The two, Richard Banda alias Stephen Gaza also known as George Banda (26) and Shamiso Gidi (21) both of Ushewokunze, Harare were arrested in November 2022.

“They have since been held responsible for 11 counts of armed robbery. In one glaring incident, the gang, which alternated its female members, boarded a Toyota IST from Masvingo to Roy (Zaka Turn off) posing as genuine travellers before robbing the complainant of his motor vehicle and groceries at gun point.

“They tied him with a seat belt. On 15 August 2022, the accused persons boarded a Honda Fit which was travelling from Harare to Beitbridge. They produced pistols and robbed the complainant of his motor vehicle, a Samsung Galaxy Note 10, cash US$4 100, $20 000. They tied him to a tree using a seat belt,” Detective Asst Insp Muteveri said adding that two days later, using the same modus operandi they boarded a white Toyota Corolla which was destined for Beitbridge from Harare.

They robbed the complainant of his motor vehicle, a Y5 cell phone and US$918.

In a shift of their mode of operation, the suspects, who were driving a Toyota Wish, offered a lift to a complainant who intended to travel from Masvingo to Zvishavane.

Along the way, they robbed him US$640 before dumping him on the highway.

All the motor vehicles which were robbed were recovered dumped in different locations such as Mbare, Mushagashe Business Centre in Masvingo, Exor Service station, Masvingo and also along Masvingo- Mutare Highway.

They would have been used to commit other crimes.

“The gang has been a unique one. It would have a lady or two at any given time. The trick was designed to gain trust of their potential victims. We encourage the motoring public to desist from picking up strangers when traveling as they risk losing their valuables to criminals.

“In the same vein, the commuting public is urged to utilise public transport and board it at designated places. We say no to Mushikashika. These pirate taxis are a major catalyst of armed robberies notwithstanding that they contribute

immensely to fatalities on our roads. While we have put shoulder to the wheel to account for malcontents within society, criminal elements continue to hover perilously, thus people should never loosen their guard this festive season and beyond.,” Detective Asst Insp Muteveri said.

She appealed for information that may lead to the arrest the outstanding members of this criminal gang namely Patrick Chikafa alias Jimmy or James and Shylene Gidi both from Ushewokunze, Harare.

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