Notorious robber nabbed

HARARE - Lucky Matambanadzo, a convicted armed robber out on bail pending appeal, was on Wednesday arrested by detectives from the police’s homicide section in connection with a string of robbery cases, police and his attorney confirmed yesterday.

Sharon Musendo, police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) spokesperson, confirmed to the Daily News that Matambanadzo was summoned on Wednesday by the homicide section for questioning on a number of crimes he is alleged to have committed.

She declined to give more details saying it could jeopardise on-going investigations.

“He was taken by police for investigations in connection with a number of cases which he is being linked to,” Musendo said. “I don’t want to specify as to which case he is being linked to, because as police we are investigating a number of cases which include armed robbery and others that have taken place in Harare.

“I was not briefed as to which cases he was called for as you know anyone can be called by police for questioning. He could have been linked by someone that is the reason I am not saying it is armed robbery, we fear that the issue could jeopardise our investigation.”

The legendary armed robber, who once spent years in prison on theft charges, once pleaded with the courts to remain in custody as he feared for his life outside prison walls.

His lawyer, Pisirai Kwenda also confirmed to the Daily News that his client had been arrested but he had not communicated with him. He said he was unaware of his whereabouts.

“I can confirm that Matambanadzo was yesterday (Wednesday) arrested, I don’t know which case he is being linked to, I am yet to see him and get a briefing because I don’t know whether he is still there or not,” Kwenda said.

“His brother from Mutare called me yesterday concerning the arrest and until today, I have not received any briefing, so I can’t say much regarding the matter.”

Matambanadzo is suspected to be the brains behind several high-profile heists in and around Harare.

In the past week, two robbery cases have been recorded with the highest case involving $412 000 and the other involving over $44 000. Police have declared war and launched a manhunt for the armed robbers, and according to police sources, Matambanadzo is the prime suspect in the alleged robberies.

In December 2008, the armed robber was jailed for an effective nine years for robbing a Harare man of his vehicle.

Matambanadzo was initially jailed for 12 years before having a quarter of his sentence set aside on condition of good behaviour.

He appealed against the sentence and was freed on $1 000 bail pending the appeal hearing.

During the bail hearing, he pleaded with a Harare magistrate to allow him to remain in custody.

The court turned down his application and upon release, a team of detectives from Kwekwe pounced on him and immediately took him to the Midlands town where he was alleged to have committed another armed robbery.

He was acquitted in the case. - Xolisani Ncube

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