A suspected notorious armed robber, Benjamin Chipiri yesterday stood before Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa, facing three counts of armed robbery.
The 38-year-old was advised to seek a bail application from the High Court and was remanded in custody until December 28 for routine remand, pending the finalization of investigations.
According to the prosecutor, Anesu Chirenje, the alleged incidents took place on December 2, 2023, around 3 p.m. Chipiri, along with two accomplices who are still at large, reportedly broke into Josephine Bhunu’s residence in Chegutu. They held the family hostage, tying them up with electric cables, and made off with US$7,300 in cash. Additionally, the robbers stole BP monitors, solar lights, and two laptops.
During the heist, one of Bhunu’s nephews managed to escape and alerted neighbours about the ongoing robbery. Courageous locals confronted the criminals, but Chipiri’s accomplices managed to flee with the majority of the stolen cash, leaving only US$300 behind.
In a separate incident, a teenager from Epworth, along with his alleged accomplice, Ernest Bwoni (28), appeared before Magistrate Gofa on charges of robbery. They were also remanded in custody until December 28 for routine remand.
The court heard that on December 1, 2023, the duo approached a man who was driving towards Chiremba shopping center. Pretending to be innocent passengers, they hired the driver to take them to Munyukwi shopping center. However, upon arrival, they changed their destination to Glenwood, Epworth.
When they reached Glenwood, the suspects disembarked from the vehicle under the pretence of relieving themselves. Suddenly, they grabbed the driver by the neck, brandishing knives, and demanded his car keys and other valuables.
During the ensuing struggle, the driver was stabbed in the chest while attempting to fend off the teenager armed with a knife. In the chaos, the robbers managed to steal a cellphone and US$700, which had been concealed in two envelopes under the vehicle’s mat.
The assailants then dragged the driver out of the vehicle and subjected him to further attacks with stones. Fortunately, the following day, detectives from the CID Vehicle Theft Squad received a vital tip-off indicating that the duo was attempting to sell the stolen vehicle in the Magaba area of Mbare, Harare, for US$1,000.
Acting swiftly on the information, the detectives apprehended the suspects and successfully recovered the stolen vehicle.