Presidential Guard part of robbery gang

HARARE - A Presidential Guard soldier was part of a gang of robbers that stormed into a Harare businessman’s premises and subdued him to surrender USD$91 000 under the guise of Operation Restore Legacy, a court heard yesterday.

Elvis Machinga, 26, was represented by Lovemore Madhuku and appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa charged with robbery.

He was remanded to December 28 a date when his co-accused Fortune Sibanda — a convicted cop who participated in the robbery will also be back in court.

Sibanda, 31, was jailed five years for robbery on September 18 this year but was released on bail pending appeal by the High Court.

At that time Sibanda who had served eight years in the police force had connived with another cop Kundai Mukwarimba, 35, Bekezela Masuku, 44, a police special constabulary, Dickson Morosi, 32, Chris Kadungure alias Butter Makiyi, 46, and Kelvin Makiyi, 26.

The gang was sent to jail after mounting a fake roadblock at Hudson Road in Belvedere and robbed an Indian investor of $56 800.

In the current matter prosecutor Linda Gadzikwa alleged that on November 28 this year Sibanda in the company of Elvis Machinga, Vengai Shoko, Gift Chimuka, Banga, Matuke, Ranga and others whose names are not yet known to the police hatched a plan to rob the complainant.

The court heard that Sibanda and his accomplices drove to 108 West Road, Avondale West, Harare in a white van and confronted the security guard who manned the offices pretending to members of the Zimbabwe National Army military police looking for accommodation.

It was alleged that the gang suddenly produced pistols and ordered the security guard to surrender gate keys.

After gaining entry into the premises Sibanda lied that they were on a State sanctioned operation and wanted to interview the complainant but later left after failing to locate him.

Sibanda and his accomplices ransacked the premises and took $15 200, 410 Singapore dollars,

3 050 Dirhams, 16 000 Thai Bhat and 4 000 Hong Kong dollars.

Smith and her boss were dragged into a blue Hyundai Sonata before being driven to Rainbow Towers car park and further to the conference centre.

Five more accused persons emerged and threatened to detain the complainant and his secretary before forcibly taking $6 000 from his wallet.

They continued threatening to subject the complainant to thorough beating on his bottom if he refused to disclose where he kept more money.

The complainant succumbed to the pressure and revealed that he was keeping money at his Gift Investments Company number 9 Hood Road, Southerton in Harare.

Sibanda then ordered the complainant to summon his wife who had keys to that premises and one of the accused persons to control of her car and drove to Gift Investments.

A total of USD$90 832, 3 050 Dirhams, 16 000 Thai Bhat and 4 000 Hong Kong dollars was recovered.