A Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) officer attached to the Presidential Guard, State House yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court charged with burning a Zupco bus and stealing a motor cycle during the recent nationwide protests economic hardships.
Takunda Lawrence Madamombe (22) pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before provincial magistrate Francis Mapfumo charged alongside his two accomplices, Dennis Maguri (29) of Rydle Ridge Park and Kudakwashe Gapare (22) of Whitecliff North, who also pleaded not guilty to the charge.
It is the state’s case that on January 14, and at around 10am Madamombe and his accomplices together with 200 others still at large, were at Whitehouse Shopping Centre along the Harare-Bulawayo Road where they connived to engage in acts of public violence.
The state alleges that pursuant to their plans, they barricaded roads with boulders, burnt tyres and threw missiles at the motoring public after which they stopped a Zupco bus with registration number AEG 3955 which was proceeding to Harare.
It is the state’s case that they ordered the bus crew and its passengers to disembark after which one Emmanuel Chari, who is already in prison over the same matter, drove the bus and parked it about 40 metres away from the main road where it was set ablaze.
The state further alleges the mob later proceeded to Puma Service Station at the same shopping centre where they chased the employees away, broke the doors and windows to the shop and looted all the groceries.
Madamombe, Maguri and Gapare are also alleged to have joined their colleagues, who are still at large, and proceeded to set ablaze a Mitsubishi pick-up truck which was parked at the service station and later broke into a pharmacy where they looted all the drugs.
During the ensuing commotion, Madamombe is alleged to have stolen a blue Yamaha 50 motorbike which was parked inside the service station. He also allegedly stole various drugs from the pharmacy. Maguri and Gapare allegedly stole a 12-volt car battery which they later sold to a commuter omnibus driver for $60.
During investigations police recovered the motorbike and some drugs from Madamombe’s spare bedroom in Whitecliff suburb.
— The Standard