Soldiers raid two homesteads, get away with property worth R12 200

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FOUR men, two of them soldiers, have been arrested while their three accomplices are still at large for allegedly robbing Filabusi villagers on the pretext that they were on official duty looking for illegal firearms and gold.

Nhlanhla Moyo (29) and Fortune Ndlovu (29) both stationed at 4 Brigade in Masvingo were not asked to plead when they appeared before Gwanda magistrate, Mr Ndumiso Khumalo together with Noah Njanji (31) from Makokoba, Farai Thabu (33) from Cowdray Park suburb facing two counts of robbery.

They were remanded in custody to September 17.

Prosecuting, Miss Ethel Mahachi said when they committed the alleged crimes, three gang members were wearing army uniforms while two wore police uniforms and two were in civilian clothing.

She said the seven went to two homesteads in the early hours of the morning while armed with a baton and two machetes and stole property worth R12 200.

“On 25 August at around 12 midnight the accused persons who were wearing army uniforms, police uniforms and plain clothes while armed with a baton and machetes arrived at the first complainant’s homestead in a Nissan Note vehicle belonging to the first accused person. They knocked on the door while claiming to be members of the security forces who were conducting investigations searching for gold and firearms and ordered the complainant to open the door.

“He opened the door and the accused persons assaulted him and his wife while demanding gold and firearms. They tied his hands and feet and force-marched him to his bedroom. They took R5 000, US$700, $200, a battery, two solar inverters, an Open View decoder, some groceries and four cellphones. One of the accused persons Nhlanhla Moyo then grabbed the woman and tried to rape her but she screamed, prompting him to leave her and they fled from the homestead,” she said.

Ms Mahachi said the gang then went to Mr Obert Nzama’s homestead in Siyaphansi Village in Filabusi and knocked on the door claiming to be members of the security forces.

She said Ms Pretty Mbangene, who is heavily pregnant, opened the door and the accused persons assaulted her with a baton and electric cord.

She said they tied Ms Mbangene’s hands to the back and force-marched her into her bedroom while demanding gold and firearms.

Miss Mahachi said they took two solar batteries, two solar inverters, an Open View decoder, groceries, three pairs of shoes and a Nissan NP300 vehicle.

She said they drove off towards Bulawayo along Zvishavane-Mbalabala Road and joined the Bulawayo-Beitbridge Road.

“The gang then dumped the stolen vehicle just after Mbalabala Filling Station after it had run out of fuel. They opened the bonnet and stole the car battery. The matter was reported to the police who recovered the dumped vehicle. The accused persons were arrested on August 28 in Bulawayo. An Open View decoder and solar inverter were recovered following their arrest,” she said.

— Chronicle


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