A 10-man joint team made up of spies, soldiers and police officers which was deployed in Harare suburbs during last month’s fuel protests has been arrested and charged with armed robbery.
The first of the 10, Sergeant Wellington Mushosho of the Police’s Internal Security Intelligence (PISI), appeared in a Harare court on Monday and was remanded in custody to February 25.
Nine others – made up of Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) spies, police officers and Military Intelligence (MI) agents – were arrested yesterday and are due in court on today.
The case against the 10 men, investigated under crime reference number CR34/02/19, stems from a February 8 raid on a shebeen on Mangende Street in Mbare, by six armed men wearing masks and all armed with AK47 rifles.
Prosecutors say patrons in the shebeen were ordered to lie on the ground and many were kicked and whipped with sjamboks, during which a shot was fired in the ground.
The intruders, whom prosecutors say were members of a security forces “Ferret Team”, robbed the shebeen’s owner, 42-year-old Norah Kandawasvika, of $2,800 bond notes and $100.
The men jumped into their vehicles, a white Nissan MP300 with registration number AEA 4471, a white Nissan MP300 without registration plates and a Datsun Go without registration plates.
As revealed by ZimLive on February 9, the Nissan vehicles are owned by the Central Intelligence Organisation.
Mushosho told investigators they were under orders to “harass MDC members” – but unbeknown to the men, Kandawasvika’s husband, David Kandawasvika, is a soldier with the 1 Commando Battalion and he arrived minutes after the raiders left.
Despite growing evidence, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and security agencies deny that their members – who are still deployed in residential neighbours in urban centres – are behind a wave of crimes including rape, murders, beatings and abductions.
Security forces were deployed starting January 14 when a three-day job boycott called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions quickly turned into street protests which turned violent in some areas.