Abel Zhakata Senior Reporter
THE Chiadzwa armed robbery case in which a police Support Unit constable lost his AK47 service rifle at gun- point was orchestrated by youthful suspects – aged 17 and 23 years – who went on to hide the weapon in the mountains.
Nomore Nyamupenza (23) of 214 Mazhambe, Sakubva, Mutare; and Phillip Mamutse (17) of Nyoka Village under Chief Makoni, Rusape, were on Monday arrested by detectives following a tip-off.
Upon their arrest the duo implicated a 38-year-old alleged accomplice – Lovemore Zvarevashe of Chiadzwa Village – who was subsequently nabbed and jointly charged for contravening Section 126 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act ) Chapter 9:23.
Soon after the robbery, a high-powered team of detectives was deployed to the diamond fields to track down the robbers and recover the rifle, which was loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.
Although Manicaland police spokesman Inspector Tavhiringwa Kakohwa was not available for comment, police sources revealed that the detectives received a tip-off from Mamutse that Nyamupenza had hidden the rifle in Tonhorai Mountain.
“Mamutse led the detectives to the mountain where the AK47 rifle and a baton were recovered. The firearm was in a good state and the magazine was fully loaded,” said the source. On September 11 the detectives tracked Nyamupenza who was subsequently arrested. He admitted to have stolen the firearm and he implicated Mamutse and Zvarevashe.
The suspects were taken to the scene of the crime where they made some indications on how they executed the robbery but Zvarevashe did not make indications as he denied involvement.
Circumstances to the robbery were that on September 1, Constable Tellmore Muzah of ZRP Support Unit Chikurubi Transtech was attached to “Operation Chengetedzai Upfumi”. He was deployed at Jinan diamond plant on guard duties in the company of Paul Ndoro, a security guard with the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company.
The following day at around 2.30am, Const Muzah was sitting in the guard room alone after Ndoro had gone out on perimeter checks when two of the robbers entered.
“One of the robbers was wearing a reflective yellow vest. He approached Muzah and pointed a pistol to his neck and ordered him to surrender his service AK47 rifle which had a fully charged magazine of 30 rounds.
“The other robber, who was wearing a black jacket, immediately grabbed the firearm from the cop. They then disappeared into the darkness. Due to poor lighting in the guard room, Muzah failed to identify them,” said the source.