5 armed robbers who murdered Marondera businessman Lucas Chimoka arrested (SEE NAMES)

Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

Five suspected armed robbers wanted for a spate of armed robberies including murdering a Marondera businessman, have been arrested in Harare.

The five are Josephat Muchenje (58), Bright Magodhi (22), Crispen Kado (26), Felix Dapi (50) and Tatenda Mudzangairi (27).

Lucas Chimoka (62), the Marondera businessman, was killed on September 23 at around 2am, and was accorded provincial hero status and buried yesterday.

Thousands of friends and relatives, including the Zanu PF Mashonaland East Provincial executive led by chairman Cde Daniel Garwe and the Marondera business community, thronged Paradise Cemetery to pay their last respects to the late businessman.

Ms Melody Rutendo Chimoka, the deceased’s daughter, appealed to authorities to bring the culprits to book.

Cde Garwe said the killing had not just affected the Chimoka family, but the entire Mashonaland East Province, hence the decision to accord him provincial hero status.

“As a party, we are here with you, to pay our last respects to one of our own. What is happening in Mashonaland East is painful. Musha wedu wapinda mhepo yatisingade.

“However, what is important is to celebrate the great works he has been doing. He was passionate about development. That is why there are a lot of people here. He was a man of the people,” said Cde Garwe.

The suspected robbers were arrested on Monday after police reacted to a tip-off and first arrested Muchenje at his house in Marlborough.

A white Nissan AD vehicle (AFY0342) used as a getaway car by the suspects, and two cutting discs, were recovered at his house.

Muchenje then implicated the other four, leading to their arrests in separate incidents in Harare.

Police recovered four rounds of ammunition stashed in Kado’s wardrobe in Tafara.

Investigations have revealed that the robbers were getting information from a bakery employee on their targets in Marondera.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests.

“The suspects are linked to six cases of armed robbery and a case of murder which include the robbery of Rakodzi Secondary School on September 15, 2022 where they stole some laptops, foodstuffs, safe keys, US$120 and $2 000. On September 18, 2022 the suspects attacked the complainants in Mt Pleasant at around 3am and took US$55 000 cash and several cell phones, clothes and a South African registered Toyota Fortuner, registration number KH15HJGP,” he said.

The vehicle was later recovered dumped at the intersection of Harare Drive and Mazowe Road.

Investigations also revealed that the suspects attacked a family in Macheke on June 10 and stole a Star Pistol, six rounds of ammunition, a Mossberg Calibre 12 bore shotgun with nine rounds, electrical cables, two Sony Plasma television sets, two DVD players and various groceries worth US$3595.

In June again, they attacked a family in St Mary’s, Chitungwiza and stole US$1 775 and R1 000, an HP laptop and several cell phones.

On July 26, the robbers attacked another family in St Mary’s again on the pretext that they were police officers searching for dangerous drugs, before stealing US$4 500, $500 and cell phones.

Police investigations also unearthed that one of the suspects, Felix Dapi, has a warrant of arrest for absconding court after being arrested for unlawful possession of dangerous drugs and armed robbery cases in 2021.

He is also under the microscope for a fraudulent bail application at the High Court through a public prosecutor who is also under probe.

Asst Comm Nyathi said one accomplice of the suspects remains on the run.

— Herald

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