Friday, January 10, 2014

Gweru Police Officers informed to shoot to kill

TWO members of an armed robbery gang have been killed following a shoot-out with the police in Gweru.
Knowledge Dawa, 30, who lives between Chitungwiza and Southview in Gweru, and Pardon Zvirimumoyo Ruhungwe, 47, also of Southview, died on their way to hospital around 2PM on Tuesday after exchanging fire with CID detectives.
Police say they and four other men – who are on the run – are responsible for robberies in Bulawayo, Harare and Kwekwe which have netted them over US$500,000 in recent weeks.
Their last hit, say the police, was the raid on a Choppies Supermarket in Nkulumane last week.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said last night: “We confirm the death of two armed robbers following a shoot-out with police in Gweru on January 7.
“Police were tipped of the presence of the armed robbers in Gweru and a manhunt was launched.
“The armed robbers were driving a white Honda and detectives fired warning shots but instead the two sped off. During the course of the pursuit, the detectives fired at the armed robbers and Dawa was shot in the pelvis while Ruhungwe was shot in the abdomen.”
The two were immediately arrested and implicated their accomplices – Together Chingwatu, Auther Jappa, and one Benjamin and a Tenei, Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.
“The condition of the two armed robbers deteriorated as they were being taken to hospital and they subsequently died,” she added.
She said the gang was responsible for an armed raid at a property in Bulawayo’s Kumalo suburb on December 29 where they allegedly pretended to be detectives after producing a fake identity card. Once in the house, they threatened the occupants with a pistol.
They demanded gold, money and other valuables and got away with R560,000 (about US$56,000), US$5,400 and three mobile phones. They sped off in a Toyota Spacio after tying their victims in different rooms with power cords.
Police investigations also revealed that Dawa, Ruhungwe and their gang were linked to the robberies that occurred at Waverly Blankets in Harare last year where $412,000 was stolen and another one at Not Sure Mine in Kwekwe where gold and $413 cash was stolen.
Snr Assist Comm Charamba said Jappa was also arrested recently in Bulawayo.
Our Midlands correspondent reports that Dawa and Ruhungwe sped off along the Gweru-Lower Gweru road but turned into a strip road leading to Shamrock suburb with detectives in hot pursuit.
They were cornered at a dead end and shot when they abandoned their car and took to their heels.
Witnesses said the two, bleeding profusely, were taken into the police car and rushed to hospital but died on the way.
Meanwhile, police are warning that armed robbers are on the prowl in major urban centres, targeting public transport vehicles as get-away cars.
“There are criminals who approach drivers and purport to hire them from CBD to residential areas and other entertainment places and in the process, the driver is forced to divert the given route and attacked by a gang of two to four men,” said Snr Assist Comm Charamba.
In Bulawayo last week, armed robbers hijacked a minibus, which they used as a get-away car after robbing Choppies Nkulumane supermarket.
Police also said a Harare man on Sunday lost his car and valuables after being hired by two unknown criminals from the city centre to Avondale.
Snr Assist Comm Charamba warned some commuter omnibus drivers against leasing out their vehicles to criminals to commit heinous crime, adding that unsuspecting passengers sometimes board such kombis and end up being robbed.
The alleged criminals target cash, laptops, cellphones and jewellery.
She said a Harare family last Sunday lost $800 and $300-worth of airtime recharge cards and different medicines to armed robbers.
“We appeal to the public not to keep large sums of money at home or business premises but use financial institutions. We also want to warn taxi operators, kombi drivers and all perpetrators of heinous acts that police cast nets wide and arrest is imminent,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
Source: Chronicle

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