Another Presidential Guard soldier has been nabbed for allegedly conniving with a gang of armed robbers that stormed into a Harare businessman’s premises and subdued him to surrender US$91 000 under the guise of Operation Restore Legacy, a court heard.
Nelson Mateyo was advised to apply for bail at the High Court when he appeared before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba on Saturday.
He was remanded to December 28 when his workmate Elvis Machinga, 26, who is also attached to the Presidential Guard and co-accused Fortune Sibanda — a convicted cop who participated in the robbery will also be back in court.
Sibanda, 31, was jailed five years for robbery on September 18 this year but was released on bail pending appeal by the High Court.
At that time Sibanda who had served eight years in the police force had connived with another cop Kundai Mukwarimba, 35, Bekezela Masuku, 44, a police special constabulary, Dickson Morosi, 32, Chris Kadungure alias Butter Makiyi, 46, and Kelvin Makiyi, 26 and mounted a fake roadblock at Hudson Road in Belvedere and robbed an Indian investor of $56 800.
Soon after committing the latest robbery Sibanda reportedly bought an Isuzu Bighorn.
In the current matter, prosecutor Linda Gadzikwa alleged that on November 28 this year Sibanda in the company of Machinga, Mateyo, Vengai Shoko, Gift Chimuka, Banga, Matuke and others whose names are not yet known to the police hatched a plan to rob the complainant.
The court heard that Sibanda and his accomplices drove to 108 West Road, Avondale West, Harare in a white van and confronted the security guard who manned the offices pretending to be members of the Zimbabwe National Army military police looking for accommodation.
It was alleged that the gang suddenly produced pistols and ordered the security guard to surrender gate keys.
After gaining entry into the premises Sibanda lied that they were on a State-sanctioned operation and wanted to interview the complainant but later left after failing to locate him.
The court heard that when Sibanda returned to the premises on November 29, he reportedly stormed into complainant’s office and accused him of dealing with former ministers Ignatius Chombo and Saviour Kasukuwere.
They claimed that the complainant had been sponsoring a Zanu PF G40 faction in a conspiracy to assassinate President Emmerson Mnangagwa, money laundering and hoarding of cash among other allegations.
The complainant and his secretary Louise Smith were put under arrest and subdued.
Sibanda and his accomplices ransacked the premises and took $15 200, 410 Singapore dollars, 3 050 Dirhams, 16 000 Thai Bhat and 4 000 Hong Kong dollars.
Smith and her boss were dragged into a blue Hyundai Sonata before being driven to Rainbow Towers’ car park and further to the conference centre.
Five more accused persons emerged and threatened to detain the complainant and his secretary before forcibly taking $6 000 from his wallet.
They continued threatening to subject the complainant to thorough beating if he refused to disclose where he kept more money.
The complainant succumbed to the pressure and revealed that he was keeping money at his Gift Investments Company at number 9 Hood Road, Southerton in Harare.
Sibanda then ordered the complainant to summon his wife who had keys to those premises and one of the accused persons took control of her car and drove to Gift Investments.
The gang ransacked the premises and stole $70 000 from a safe before proceeding to his house at 15 Grasmere lane, Borrowdale, Harare and searched the place for more loot.
The court heard that Sibanda and his accomplices held the complainant, receptionist and his wife hostage while they went around town before giving him $4 500 and ordering him to leave the country immediately.
The victims were dropped off at an open space near Harare Show Grounds before Sibanda and his accomplices went away with the loot.
A total of US$90 832, 3 050 Dirhams, 16 000 Thai Bhat and 4 000 Hong Kong dollars was recovered. – Daily News
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