Notorious Beitbridge highway robbers nabbed

Thupeyo Muleya
\nPolice in Beitbridge have arrested four suspected notorious armed robbers who had allegedly unleashed a reign of terror along the Beitbridge-Masvingo and Beitbridge-Bulawayo highways. The quartet is alleged to have been operating on a 40km radius along the two major roads and was arrested on Christmas day.

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National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests and said that the gang, facing one case of murder and 15 armed robberies, is expected to appear in court tomorrow.

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He identified the suspects as Taurai Gwande also known as Tawanda Musekwa or Giant (30), Boniface Mushavati also known as Moyo, Clive Shumba (24) and Lehlohonolo Moyo.

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“In most cases the accused persons drove donkeys onto the road resulting in the motorists reducing speed to avoid hitting the animals,” Chief Supt Nyathi said. He said the four committed the crimes between May 9 and December 19.

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They targeted cash, groceries, cell phones, laptops and other electrical gadgets.
\n“This is a major breakthrough because these criminals had become a danger to motorists. They also stole a Toyota Hilux and an assortment of groceries from another couple after savagely attacking them with various weapons in August,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.

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He said on December 19, the gang killed a 29-year-old man who had been in the company of his girlfriend in a car parked near St Joseph primary school in Beitbridge.

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However, luck ran out on Christmas day when Giant was arrested in Mvuma following a tip-off. This led to the arrest of the other three and recovery of some of the stolen goods in Masvingo.

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Chief Supt Nyathi said the police were calling on members of the public to approach officer commanding police in Beitbridge or the Criminal Investigations Department to identify some of the recovered property.

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He said in light of an upsurge in cases of robberies along major highways, the police had increased patrols and surveillance of crime hotspots areas.