Police on Saturday arrested seven dangerous robbers in separate incidents under a special operation during which one suspect was shot and killed in a shoot-out.
Some of the robbers are understood to have been behind the March 28 raid at Gateway High School in Harare where they made off with US$250 000.
The operation follows President Mnangagwa’s recent stern warning to armed robbers countrywide that they would be brought to book.
In a statement yesterday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “The Zimbabwe Republic Police confirms the arrest of seven dangerous and notorious armed robbers and the death of one robber after a shoot-out with police detectives in Harare on 3 July, 2021.
“Police received information that one robbery gang leader, Godfrey Josi, was in Damafalls and a crack team raided the suspect who bolted out of a room armed with a revolver.
“He scuffled with the police officers and was shot on the left leg. A revolver loaded with two live rounds, three super power explosive dynamites and four fuse cables were recovered
Asst Comm Nyathi said Josi revealed that his accomplices were Richard Mutanga, Zvidozvashe Zuda, Peter Mushipe, Valentine Mutasa, Decide Rice and the now deceased Benjamin Craig Musasa.
He said Mutanga was raided in Unit ‘O’, Chitungwiza, leading to the recovery of a gateway vehicle, a Honda CRV while Zuda was arrested at Kuwadzana roundabout with a pistol and bullets.
“Police detectives followed Peter Mushipe in Stoneridge area, Harare, where the suspect tried to run away while armed with a 12 Bore shot gun loaded with one live round.
“He was subsequently shot on the right leg and live rounds of ammunition were recovered from his pockets. The fifth suspect, Valentine Mutasa had a confrontation with police officers at Glenwood Park, Epworth and was shot on the left hip leading to the recovery of a 303 rifle with three rounds of ammunition.”
Rice, said Ass Comm Nyathi, was lured to Harare Drive in Greendale where he arrived in the company of Benjamin Musasa.
“The two suspects suddenly fired some shots towards the police detectives. During the exchange of fire, Musasa was shot and arrested while the ring leader, Rice, escaped. A revolver with erased serial numbers was recovered.”
Ass Comm Nyathi said the injured suspects were taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital where Musasa died on admission.
He said they also arrested Juliet Gavaza (37) after investigations revealed that she was married to Josi and had a house in Zengeza 5, Chitungwiza, believed to have been bought from the proceeds of armed robberies.
Police have secured all the transactional documents related to the house.
“The suspects are linked to seven armed robbery cases which include the one at Gateway High School on 28 March 2021 where US$250 000 was stolen and the robbery in Muzari Suburb, Chinhoyi, on 12 January 2021 where US$60 000 was taken,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.
“There is another robbery case at UZ farm compound on 10 May 2021 where US$20 000 was stolen and the recent robbery which occurred on 29 June 2021 when the suspects took US$19 800 from a Beatrice farmer.”
He said they had also established that Josi, Mushipe, Mutasa and the now deceased Musasa were linked to several cases of armed robbery and had arrest warrants against them.
Mutasa is alleged to have committed murder in Nembudziya, Gokwe and was involved in an armed robbery case in Kadoma.
“Police reiterate the position of His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa that armed robbers will be dealt with decisively.
“Police urge the public to continue supplying information on all robbers so that the law may take its course,” said Ass Comm Nyathi.