Through the swift response of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in Mvuma, 29 tonnes of agricultural inputs, which had recently been stolen from the Grain Marketing Board’s Charandura depot, were recovered. Additionally, five suspects involved in the crime have been arrested. The police intercepted the gang on 13th October 2023 at approximately 02:20 hours, at the 193.5-kilometer mark along the Harare – Masvingo road in Mvuma.
According to Inspector Emanuel Mahoko, the spokesperson for the Midlands Police, the recovered agricultural inputs have an estimated value of USD$30,000. They are currently being held at ZRP Mvuma, along with a Daf 15-tonne truck, which was utilized in the commission of the crime, as evidence.
“The apprehended suspects are Tirayi Dzimangi, aged 52 years, from Hatcliffe, Harare, Munesu Lazarus (37) from Zengeza 4, Chitungwiza, Harare, Jofile Magwadi (53) from 12th Street Hatcliffe, Harare, Titus Marange (34) from Village Makarara, Chief Marange, Mutare, and Stephen Nhamo (38) from Goodhope Lot 6 Westgate, Harare. We are currently working towards locating the remaining six members of the gang. Preliminary investigations suggest a link between this robbery gang and other similar cases that have occurred across the country recently,” Inspector Mahoko stated.
In the most recent incident, on the 12th of October 2023, around 21:30 hours, the gang targeted GMB Charandura. They encountered two security guards on duty, assaulted them with logs, and tied them up with ropes. The guards’ mouths were forcibly gagged with pieces of cloth, and they were placed in a storm drain. The criminals then proceeded to cut the security fences, gain entry into the premises, and search for the keys to the gate. Subsequently, they used a truck to transport and load 540 bags of compound D fertilizer and 17 bags of shelled groundnuts before making their escape.
The crime was swiftly discovered by a diligent security guard who happened to be returning from church. The guard immediately reported the incident to the Charandura police. Upon inspection, it was found that both complainants had sustained injuries during the assault and were subsequently referred to St. Theresa Hospital for medical treatment.
Charandura police promptly communicated with their counterparts in Mvuma, and an armed roadblock was established at the 193.5 km mark on the Harare-Masvingo road. Within minutes, a speeding truck matching the given description, with registration number AGJ 7169, approached from the direction of Masvingo. However, the truck failed to comply with the police signals to stop.
In response, the police were forced to fire shots that punctured one of the front wheels, causing the vehicle to come to a halt. Immediately, three individuals jumped out of the truck and swiftly disappeared into the darkness.
All the stolen agricultural inputs from GMB Charandura were successfully recovered. Additionally, inside the vehicle, a third number plate was discovered with a different registration number – AGA 9786, as opposed to the front and rear plates AGJ 7169.
In a recent similar case, armed robbers targeted the GMB Zhombe depot. Police in Zhombe, Kwekwe District, have launched a manhunt for a five-member gang that attacked the depot, making off with various inputs, including fertilizers and seeds, with a total value of US$13,545.
According to Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko, spokesperson for the Midlands Police, the armed gang struck the depot around 1 AM. “The suspects, brandishing a firearm, arrived at GMB Zhombe where two security guards were on night duty. They ordered the guards to lie down, tied their hands to poles with ropes, and confiscated their mobile phones,” Insp Mahoko explained.