Eleven armed robbers were caught red-handed by police and other security personnel early yesterday morning while they were in the process of robbing a 30-year-old man at Maruta Shopping Centre in Hatfield using two .303 Lee Enfield rifles, iron bars, a sjambok and a catapult.
The police, who were manning a roadblock rushed to the rescue of the man after hearing commotion near the shopping centre.
Those arrested are Tatenda Manongwa (26), Jabulani Majoni (32), Blessing Mabhureni (27), John Machingauta (26), Piyson Pamehenza (age not given), Lawrence Kwashira (20), Tinashe Nyamaumba (25), Professor Majaya (28), Ashington Chamunorwa (31), Tashinga Madzana (age not given) and Farai Mangwanani (32).
They were arrested by a team of officers manning the roadblock along Seke Road near Delport Road who had been tipped off after witnesses heard the sounds of the man being attacked at the shopping centre along Seke Road. Police rushed to the scene in time to find the gang still present, attempting to rob the man.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said nothing was taken from the victim and police were now trying to find out where the two rifles came from. The victim was taken to Mbuya Dorcas Hospital for medical attention.
“The ZRP has intensified efforts to account for robbery syndicates moving around the country attacking members of the public including motorists, business people and people walking or moving alone,” Asst-Comm Nyathi said.
Last Friday night, four armed robbers were killed, including a serving member of the ZRP while two others were arrested when they resisted arrest by shooting at the police, who returned fire, when they were caught after robbing a Harare businessman of US$10 000.
While four of the armed robbers were killed when the police shot back, Blessing Bheura (29) and Tichaona Kariwa (33) of Domboshava were arrested. Those that were killed are Constable Kudzai Kanjera (41) of ZRP Hatfield, Admire Nhetekwa (26), Brian Chibaya (37) and Tatenda Chari (35).
Police received a tip off that the robbers were planning to pounce on the businessman, and they ambushed them soon after the robbery. One of the suspects, Bheura, had just been released on bail pending appeal.