A daring armed robber believed to be part of the syndicate that masqueraded as police officers and soldiers last month before robbing unsuspecting victims has been arraigned before court.
Dzingai Gariyawo (38) part of a gang that robbed people using security regalia and a movie like style, appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa on allegations of stealing valuables worth over $40 000.
The notorious gang also allegedly robbed police officers of their service pistols and cell phones before stripping them naked.
His co-accused Tinaye Rice was already on remand over the same matter.
Gariyawo is facing 15 counts of armed robbery and according to the State, on January 18 at around 9:30 pm, the accused and 13 other accomplices still at large, approached Li Jiping and Lieu Hia Ling who were at their home in Alexandra Street, Chegutu.
They were allegedly armed with rifles, pistols, machetes, iron bars and baton sticks while clad in army and police uniforms.
It is the State’s case that they indiscriminately fired shots and robbed the duo of a Toyota Hilux, a mill starter, clothes, a pistol and cash.
The state also said they robbed one Farisai Chihoro who resided at the cottage of the Chinese couple.
The court heard the gang also shot Obert Kaviyano who used another cottage at the same residence, on the upper left arm before robbing him of a DSTV decoder and cash amounting to $40.
It is alleged that on the same day, they also robbed Bruno Damiliano of a Peugot 406 and a cell phone.
The state is alleged they kidnapped all their victims and dumped them at City Bakery in Chegutu.
According to court papers, which read like a script of a horror movie, Gariyawo and his accomplices went back to Jiping’s house, pounced on police officers who had rushed to the crime scene and robbed them again.
They allegedly stripped naked Givemore Chirisa, Simba Katerere and Precious Mahara and took away their riot gear and service pistol before dumping them at the same bakery.
Court further heard that during the same night, Gariyawo and his accomplices intercepted Paul Mutipforo, a police officer who was driving a Mazda B2200 police vehicle, registration number ZRP 482 along Cattle Trail Road and was in the company of a colleague, Andrew Mukondombera.
The police officers were attending to a robbery scene that had allegedly been committed by the same gang in Alexandra Street.
The gang, according to the state fired at the police officers, deflating the tyres of the police car in the process.
They allegedly robbed the police of their identity cards, cash before relieving Mukondombera of his service pistol loaded with ten rounds in its magazine.
The daring robbers allegedly dumped the police officers City Bakery.
Using the same modus operandi, court heard that the 15 suspects pounced on three security guards who were on duty at the Chegutu Municipality Engineering Department and robbed them of cell phones, wallets, clothing, including undergarments and left them naked.