Guard nabbed for $1,8m cash heist, $32 000 recovered

A HARARE-BASED security guard, who allegedly connived with armed robbers who pounced on a Chinese firm and got away with a $1 799 960 cash heist, was arrested and found in possession of $32 000 of the loot in a suitcase inside his bedroom.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Francis Mazehwe (40) was not asked to plead to armed robbery charges when he appeared before magistrate Tilda Mazhande last Friday.

He was remanded in custody to April 24, pending finalisation of investigations after he claimed that he dismissed an affidavit he purported to have signed, admitting the offence.

The court dismissed the affidavit and ordered that it should not be used as evidence during trial.

It is the State’s case that on April 2 this year, at around 12am, Mazehwe and his co-accused Wilson Manyara, Joseph Ndigo, Sebastian Mupambwi, Godfrey Josi and Taurai Dzingai, who are already on remand and 12 other accomplices, still at large, stormed Chinese-owned PHI Commodities armed with pistols, metal bars and explosives.

They allegedly confronted the security guards – Cephas Kisimesi and Cephas Chiutawo – who were manning the entrance and were inside the guardroom.

The State alleges the accused persons assaulted Kisimesi and Chiutawo with metal bars and cuffed them with shoe laces before taking their mobile phones, safety shoes, a black satchel, toiletries and two communication radios.

The gang allegedly ransacked the company offices, stole seven laptops and cash boxes loaded with $1 799 960.

The State alleges the accused persons later phoned their accomplices who drove in and parked by the office entrance and loaded the cash into their getaway car and drove off.

Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.