Machete-wielding artisanal miners belonging to the “Ziga clan”, who allegedly murdered a police officer in December last year at Goodhope Mine in Kadoma, have been denied bail pending trial at the High Court.
Justice Amy Tsanga denied seven of alleged machete attackers bail but granted bail to one gang member who is a minor. The judge said the accused were of no fixed abode and if released, were a potential danger to society and their counterparts remain at large.
“. . . weapons were recovered from two others. Moreover, applicants are said not be permanently resident at the given address. It would not be in the interest of justice to release them on bail when they have tenuous ties to the place of residence.’
“None were said to have any assets. Furthermore, other co-accused are still at large,” she said.
Justice Tsanga said the accused could not be released since police needed one more month to complete preliminary investigations.
“Investigations are midway and are said to require at least 30 more days. It is proper that in view of the numbers involved, that the police be given reasonable opportunity to complete all their preliminary investigations. In the circumstances, the application for bail pending trial is dismissed,” ruled Justice Tsanga.
The accused are Lyton Tshuma, Obvious Mawire,Tonderai Musasa, Richwell Tshuma, Bornlight Mukute, Taurai Munetsi, Tinashe Dembo and a minor.
They are facing murder and attempted murder charges.
The State alleges that the accused invaded Good Hope Mine on December 28 and fought running battles with police.
It is further alleged that they acted in common purpose and murdered Constable Wonder Hokoyo and attempted to murder Constable Gabus Kamhuka in the attack.
Evidence from the investigating officer, Trust Chogoda, shows that the accused arrived at the mine in two kombis and numbered about 35, armed with knives, knobkerries and machetes.
It is also alleged that they started attacking legal miners at Goodhope Mine to pave way for their violent takeover.
Police fired at their attackers before they ran out of ammunition resulting in the fatal attack on Cst Hokoyo, and his colleague, Cst Kamhuka, who is still hospitalised.
Machetes were subsequently recovered from Munetsi and Dembo.
In opposing he bail application, the State relied on evidence from the investigating officer, which suggested that the accused were not suitable candidates for bail as they were likely to commit further offences and had the potential to abscond.
Meanwhile, police in Kadoma have launched a manhunt for five other members of the notorious “Ziga clan” who are wanted for murder, robbery and assault, writes Heather Charema.
The “clan” members are prime suspects in the recent murder of Cst Hokoyo at Goodhope Mine in Battlefields, Kadoma.
Speaking to The Herald this week, Officer-in-Charge Kadoma CID Detective Chief Inspector Augustine Nhete appealed to the members of the public to assist with information on the whereabouts of the suspects.
“The following machete-wielding gang members of the ‘Ziga clan’ are at large and are wanted by the Criminal Investigations Department in Kadoma. The five are: Vusa Tshuma, Givemore Tshuma, Anywhere Nkomeni who is commonly known as Alias Dhinde, Talent who is also known as Alias Kwadez,” he said.
“Anyone with information on their whereabouts or their last known address should avail it at CID Kadoma through our communications department or call our hotline on 0682122427 as soon as possible. We call on the public to assist us by availing useful information that can assist us in the investigations of all machete related crimes.”
Officer Commanding CID Kadoma, Manyame and Chegutu districts Chief Superintendent Obert Ngirazi said police will hunt down all machete gangs.
“Police are on high alert and we would like to tell the members of the machete wielding gangs that their days are numbered. We will not hesitate to arrest and bring the culprits to book,” he said.