THE highly anticipated trial of suspected robbers who survived the Chadcombe shootout opened in Harare yesterday.
Francis Takura, Virimai Nyandoro and Shine Tanaka Nyamhunga pleaded not guilty when they appeared before Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje.
Takura is a former policeman.
Brian Koga Tendere, Charles Chirara and Tariro Gora were shot dead.
Takura, who is facing other armed robbery charge, told the court that the allegations were levelled against him out of malice by some police officers who wish to have him convicted for a charge he doesn’t know.
He said in October and November last year, he was in his rural home in Chivhu farming.
He said he has never used a firearm, and neither does he own one.
He denied ever being part of the gang whose members were gunned down by Nemaisa and told the court that he never survived a shootout because he was never at the crime scene.
Nyandoro also denied the allegations and told the court that he was a soldier and was involved in an accident, which saw him suffering a permanent spine injury.
He told the court that due to the injury he was suspended from working with firearms.
He told the court that during cold seasons, he suffered from severe back aches and headaches which affect his ‘mental stamina’.
Nyandoro said he only knew Gora as a workmate, not as an accomplice.
He told the court that he was not physically fit to stage a robbery.
Nyamhunga denied knowing any of his alleged accomplices and told the court that there’s no link between him and the offence.
The matter resumes on November 17 and the State is expected to lead evidence from Nemaisa.
Joyce Fusire appeared for the State.
The court heard that on December 6 last year, at around 9pm, Fadzanai Musarurwa was at her house in Chadcombe, when she saw three men walking close to her home.
She drove into her yard and heard her dogs barking viciously.
She told her brother, Masimba Musarurwa, to lock the main door.
As Masimba was locking the door, someone tried to force open the door.
Courage Nemaisa, Musarurwa’s son, then quickly called father, Joseph Nemaisa, and informed him that there were some intruders at the house.
The whole family retreated to their bedrooms and Musarurwa went into the toilet and locked the door. Takura and his accomplices broke down the main door, using crow bars, and screw drivers.
The robbers got into the house and began assaulting everyone.
They demanded to see Musaururwa, who then came out of the toilet, and was assaulted at gunpoint as they demanded money. She handed them over US$850 and they ransacked the house and took her cellphone, a black laptop and a shot gun.
As they were leaving, Joseph Nemaisa arrived at the scene, armed with a 9mm pistol, and a fierce exchange of gunfire ensued.