Anjin guards foil soldiers diamond heist

MUTARE - A Mutare magistrate on Monday denied bail to two members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) accused of stealing 10kgs of diamond ore at Anjin Diamond Mine in Chiadzwa last week.

Magistrate Noah Gwatidzo remanded in custody Victor Zindonda, a ZNA lieutenant aged 30 and accomplice Brighton Mazo, 26. They are jointly charged with two unemployed men Tazeni Machingura, 33, and Tinashe Mwashita, 27.

They were remanded in custody to February 5, 2014.

The State, led by Fortunate Chasi, is alleging that Zindonda and Mazo, who are both based at ZNA’s 2 Brigade in Cranborne Harare, connived with Machingura, Mwashita and Edmore Chingarande, who is now late, to rob diamond ore at Anjin Mine on January 18, 2014.

It is alleged that the four were in the company of seven others who are still at large.

Chasi told the court the gang used a Honda Fit vehicle registration ACV 2895 which belonged to Machingura and an Isuzu KB vehicle registration ABD 6240 belonging to Mwashita in the botched robbery.

The accused are alleged to have been armed with AK rifles and dressed in military uniform when they raided Plant Number 5 at the mine.

The court heard the gang used a bolt cutter to gain entry into the highly-secured premises and manhandled a security guard at gunpoint. The security guard was allegedly threatened with death if he resisted.

The gang then cut the cage housing the diamond ore to gain entry and loaded 10kgs of diamond ore into sacks.

It is alleged during the robbery, some alert security guards intercepted the gang, who then fired at least 12 rounds into the air to scare away the advancing security guards, before escaping with the diamond ore.
Upon their arrest, Chingarande fatally shot himself.

The four, who were represented in court by lawyer Farai Matinhure, were denied bail as some of their accomplices were still at large and there was fear the accused could interfere with witnesses.

Zindonda resides in Makokoba Bulawayo while Mazo is a resident of Rujeko A in Masvingo.

Machingura and Mwashita are of Chikanga Phase 1, Mutare and Arda Transau, Odzi, respectively.

The accused persons were found in possession of a stolen radio, and spent cartridges of the AK 47 recovered at the scene of the robbery matched the firearm recovered in their possession.

The State said the accused persons were positively identified by the security guard they manhandled at the diamond mine when they were taken for indications.

Comments (3)

This is what happens when there is unequal distribution of wealth.If things do not change economically,Zimbabwe will be another DRC.This is the beginning.

African - 29 January 2014

Yes, seriously, if someone comes to me with a well thought out plant I would not hesitate to join them because in Zimbabwe you either steal or starve and what is better than steal from a government which made us beggars in a land of plenty.

Bingo Wokwa Gutu - 30 January 2014

I want to think that those vested with the powers to oversee the distribution of wealth in this country should take note. These guys did not want to steal...only make a statement to the authorities. That you can't continue to enjoy the wealth of the country on your own. Writing on the wall?

Overman Sanatorium - 30 January 2014

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