Notorious cop robber appears in court

A  notorious armed robber believed to be part of daring gang that stripped members of Zimbabwe Republic Police and got away with their uniforms and armoury after the police responded to a robbery report, have been dragged to court on 15 counts of armed robbery.

Dzingai Gariwayo (38) appeared before Harare Magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa, becoming the second of 15 men arraigned before court.

This follows the arrest of Tinaye Rice in January.

Rice was shot on the leg during a movie-style  shootout that ensued in Chegutu between the gang and the police in a typical ‘cops and robbers’ scenario.

Prosecutor Linda Gahadzikwa alleged that on January 18 at around 9:30 pm, Gariyawo and his 13 accomplices who are still at large, approached Li Jiping and Lieu Hia Ling who were at their home in Alexandra Street, Chegutu.

They were allegedly armed with rifles, pistols, machetes, iron bars and batons while clad in army and police uniforms.

It is the State’s case that they indiscriminately fired shots and robbed the duo of a Toyota Hilux, a mill starter, clothes, a pistol and cash.

The State also says they robbed one Farisai Chihoro who resided at the cottage of the Chinese couple.

Court heard the gang also shot Obert Kaviyano who used another cottage at the residence, once on the upper left arm before robbing him of a DSTV decoder and cash amounting to $40.

On the same day, they also robbed Bruno Damiliano of a Peugot 406 and a cell phone.

It is alleged they kidnapped all their victims and dumped them at City Bakery in Chegutu.

According to court papers, Gariyawo and his accomplices went back to Jiping’s house and pounced on police officers who were attending the armed robbery scene.

They allegedly stripped naked Givemore Chirisa, Simba Katerere and Precious Mahara and robbed them of their anti -riot gear and service pistol before dumping them at the same bakery.

Court further heard that during the same night, Gariyawo and his accomplices intercepted Paul Mutipforo, a police officer who was driving a Mazda B2200 police vehicle, registration number ZRP 482 along Cattle Trail Road and was in the company of a colleague, Andrew Mukondombera.

The police officers were attending to a robbery scene that had allegedly been committed by the same gang in Alexandra Street.

The robbers, who were still clad in army and police uniforms, fired at the police officers, deflating the tyres of the police car in the process.

They allegedly robbed the police of their identity cards, cash before relieving Mukondombera of his service pistol loaded with ten rounds in its magazine.

The daring robbers allegedly dumped the police officers at City Bakery.

Using the same modus operandi, court heard that the 15 suspects pounced on three security guards who were on duty at the Chegutu Municipality Engineering Department and robbed them of cell phones, wallets, clothing, including undergarments and left them naked.