CHURCH ROBERIES GANG FACES 10 COUNTS
A gang of robbers, who have been targeting churches around the capital, appeared in court facing 10 counts of robbery.
They are accused of stealing cash and valuables worth US$28 558 while US$5 000 was recovered.
Harare magistrate, Gloria Takundwa, is expected to hear their bail application today.
Allegations are that the suspects — John Chizhanje (47) and Panashe Kaseke (18) — connived with Lazarus Mhishi and Emmanuel Muremo and hatched a plan to rob a Methodist Church at Stand Number 4217, Highfield.
Tawanda Mudzingwa, Shoniwa Mujuru and David Sawadya, who are still at large, and Ephraim Douglas Dube, who is now late, are suspected of also being part of the game.
The suspects pounced on the church on June 12 at around 1 am, and manhandled Maxwell Mugabe, who was asleep with his family.
It is alleged they produced knives and threatened the complainants before they went on to steal US$7 100, $30 000, R4500, two laptops and cell phones.
Allegations are that on June 15, at around midnight, the accused proceeded to Methodist Church, along Patrenda Way in Glen View, where they broke into the premises.
They manhandled Walter Machirori and his family and produced a pistol, threatening the complainants, and demanding cash and valuables. They stole eight cellphones, two laptops and US$10 500.
Further allegations are that on June 25, the accused went to Anglican Church in Budiriro 2, broke into the premises, where Vincent Farirai was asleep with his family.
They allegedly produced a pistol and threatened the victims before stealing valuables.
On July 11, at around 2am, the accused allegedly broke into St Andrews United Methodist Church in Glen Norah, armed with knives and iron bars.
They reportedly tied the complainants, using electric cables, before opening a cash box and stealing US$743, raised from church tithes. On July 14, at around 10pm, the accused broke into the Apostolic Faith Mission church in Westlea where they allegedly manhandled the complainant, who was asleep with his family.
It is alleged the accused produced a pistol and threatened the complainants before stealing cash, a car and other valuables, before disappearing.
According to the state, on July 15, the accused pounced on the Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Kambuzuma, armed with a pistol and iron bars, and got away with cash.
On the same day, the accused went to the United Methodist church in Kambuzuma where they stole cash.
During the course of the same day, the accused also broke into the Celebration Church in Mufakose where they stole cash and cellphones.
The Seventh Adventist church in Mufakose was also attacked and they stole cash as well.
They allegedly broke into the Church of Christ in Mufakose and stole cash and valuables.
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