Police have launched a manhunt for 15 suspected army and police impostors who have launched a reign of terror in Chegutu and surrounding areas.
According to information from the ZRP in Chegutu, the gang was recently involved in a spate of robberies getting away with two cars, loaded guns, police uniforms, cellphones and cash. The robbers, some clad in Zimbabwe National Army uniforms and police riot jackets with camouflage trousers, abducted before stripping members of the ZRP and municipal police.
According to a communications to ZRP Officer Commanding Mashonaland West province, Commissioner Felly Mjanga Chikowero, on January 19 this year, Chegutu District police commander Chief Superintendent Tambudzai Mazambani, said the robbers attacked and stole goods from two Chinese nationals.
“The robbers armed with two 303 rifles, an AK 47 rifles, two pistols, metal bars, machetes and batons raided House No. 20 Alexandria Road, Hintonville Suburb, firing shots, smashing windows while demanding cash and valuables from Chinese nationals, Li Jiping (60), Lie Hia Ling (58) and Yuan Ying Duo (48).
The robbers severely assaulted their victims with batons and got away with a pistol, cellphones and cash before shooting Obert Kavhiyano who stays in the cottage. They stole a decoder and a cellphone from Kavhiyano’s neighbour Farisai Chihoro.
Chief Supt Mazambani said Jinpin reported the matter at ZRP Chegutu where three police details attended the scene.
“Upon arrival, the accused fired several shots in the air and disarmed Katerere (one of the officers to attend the scene), who was armed with an FN Rifle S/N 8384 charged with a magazine of 20 rounds” he said.
The robbers reportedly stripped the police details before stealing two cars, three cellphones, FN Riffle, police uniforms and $400 in Bond notes.
“After robbing the complainants, the accused bundled them into the two stolen motor vehicles and drove out of the premises.”
Meanwhile, on the same night, police received reports of an armed robber with members of the CID proceeding to the scene. The CID members accompanied by three others armed with an AK 47 rifles and CZ pistols encountered the gang at the scene.
“The accused suddenly opened fire at the detectives and the other three detectives managed to escape before reporting back to the station,” he said.
Two other detectives were caught and bundled into the boot of the stolen vehicle while their phones, police IDs, a CZ pistol and cash were stolen. The robbers, Chief Supt Mazambani, drove to a bakery in the town where they demanded cash from Jinping before breaking the doors to the offices.
The robbers approached the guards on duty at the Chegutu Municipality engineering department where they produced firearms and accused them of being criminals.
“They stripped and force marched the guards to the bakery and stole three cellphones, their clothes and various personal belongings including cash.
Chief Supt Mazambani said the gang abandoned all the abductees at different places in the town while abandoning the Peugeot 406 motor vehicle.
“The direction of flight could not be established.”
Some of the victims were given some clothes suspected to have been stolen somewhere else and they reported the case at ZRP Pfupajena.