Koala Armed Robbery Syndicate Busted
HARARE – FIVE suspected notorious armed robbers who pounced on Koala Estate in a movie-style raid last year – and later went on a rampage committing a spate of other armed robberies across the country, were arrested yesterday.
The robbers Godknows Mukavi (35), Charles Muzvidzwa (45), Tatenda Madzudzo (28), Munyaradzi Gumbo (42) and Happiness Mutsago (41) stole US$3O 000-00 cash, several cellphones, a Toyota Land Cruiser and an Isuzu after posing as network providers scouting for a place to put a network booster.
In February this year, two of the armed robbers Godknows Mukavi and Charles Muzvidzwa are also believed to have kidnapped a complainant whom they had hired a truck from at N Richards along Bulawayo Road posing as genuine customers.
The two – using the same truck – later on raided Good Hope Farm in Mt Hampden where they got away with at least US$1500 and other valuables after capturing the farm’s security guard and a farm manager.
This time, they posed as security agents in search of illegal drugs.
Police have since recovered a 9mm FN Browning pistol with a magazine of 11 rounds of ammunition, two pellet guns, a cutting torch, capsule explosive, a capped explosive fused cable, four pairs of handcuffs, and a pack of tyre cables from the suspects.
National Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest of the five in a communique last night.
He said the arrests were in connection with an armed robbery case which occurred at Koala Estate along Chitungwiza Road on September 13, 2022, and Goodhope Farm, Mt Hampden on February 13, 2023.
“At Koala Park Estate, the suspects, who were wearing orange work suits had initially posed as cellphone network providers who had come to survey for a place to put a network booster.
“They attacked the employees who were working in a wheat field and stole US$3O 000-00 cash, several cellphones, a Toyota Land cruiser vehicle registration number AAV2S89 and an Isuzu vehicle,” reads part of the communique.
This year in February, two of the armed robbers posed as genuine customers and used a complainant Hino Dutro truck as a getaway car after they pointed him with a pistol and ordered him to comply.
“He hired the complainant, who had a Hino Dutro truck and along the way, he instructed the driver to pick up his accomplice, Charles Muzvidzwa, after lying that he was the owner of the farm where they intended to buy the potatoes.
“Upon embarking onto the truck, Charles Muzvidzwa produced an unidentified pistol, pointed it at the complainant and ordered him to comply with their orders. The suspects searched the complainant and took an IteI cellphone and US$2O cash before they handcuffed and blindfolded him with a piece of cloth. They ordered him to jump onto the back of the truck,” reads the statement.
Upon arrival at Goodhope Farm posing as security officers searching for drugs, they captured a security officer and the farm manager and tied them before they threw them onto the back of the truck.
They proceeded to take two cellphones and US$1 500-00 cash.
“The suspects later drove off from the farm after efforts to call the farm owner, who was not at the farm failed. They dumped the complainants and the truck at Africa Unit Square at around 2300 hours.
“Police investigations led to the arrest of Godknows Mukavi, who implicated the other four suspects, detectives tracked the other suspects who were on their way to Banket where they intended to commit another robbery, leading to their arrest at Mbare Musika …,” further reads the statement.
Investigations are in progress with a view of clearing more robbery cases committed by the suspects.