Senior Court Reporter
THE trial of 11 suspected armed robbers involved in the ZB Bank US$2,7 million heist along the Harare-Chinhoyi highway sometime early this year has been set for two days in January next year at the Harare Magistrates Court.
Dennis Madondo, Gerald Rutizirira, Kelvin Musakwa, Tendai Zuze, Neverson Mwamuka, Trymore Chapfika, Charles Chirara, Tozivepi Chirara, Tatenda Gadzikwa, Terrence Matimba and Fanuel Musakwa are expected to appear in court on January 18 and 19 next year for trial on armed robbery charges.
The 11 were separately arrested early this year in connection with the heist.
The money was destined for ZB Bank branches in Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Kwekwe, Gweru, Gwanda, Zvishavane and Bulawayo.
The State alleges three ZB Bank security officers were tasked to carry seven boxes containing US$2 775 000 for distribution to its branches with Chinhoyi receiving US$75 000, Kadoma US$25 000, Kwekwe and Gweru US$150 000 each, Bulawayo US$2m, Gwanda US$50 000 and Zvishavane US$100 000.
It is said that the three were travelling in a Toyota Hilux single cab with a canopy, secured with a tracker and emergency panic button.
Allegations are that the security personnel picked three unknown suspects at the Westgate roundabout in Harare and drove to Inkomo tollgate where they collected a box containing $43 090, which was supposed to be deposited at the bank.
They allegedly picked up three more men at Inkomo Barracks turn-off as they drove towards Chinhoyi.
Upon reaching the 60km peg, they allegedly stopped the vehicle and a robbery was staged. The State alleges that an Isuzu twin-cab immediately arrived at the scene with people who were armed with pistols.
It is said that the bank’s security personnel surrendered their pistol and rifle and offloaded the cash boxes into the Isuzu which then drove off.
Investigations led to the arrest of the 11 on separate occasions.