TWO Gweru men on Wednesday appeared in court facing charges of stealing a rifle and 20 rounds of ammunition worth $496 at a police base in Matobo, just outside the Midlands capital.

Israel Chamatungwa (25) and Adence Tongogara (44) appeared before Gweru magistrate Thomas Gurajena facing two counts of unlawful entry and theft.

The other four members of the gang are reportedly on the run.

The duo pleaded not guilty to the charges and Gurajena granted Tongogara $300 bail after he gave his residential address to the court and surrendered his passport.

Chamatungwa was, however, denied bail after failing to provide identity particulars and a place of residence. He was remanded in custody to February 11.

The court heard that on January 26 this year, police officers manning Matobo Police Base secured the place before leaving for Gweru.

On the same day at around 8pm, Chamatungwa, Tongogara and their alleged four other accomplices still at large, broke into the gun cabinet and stole a rifle and a magazine loaded with 20 live rounds.

The court also heard that on January 30, Chamatungwa, Tongogara and a third suspect, who is on the run, were travelling in a Nissan Almera when police stopped them at a roadblock near Parkinson Secondary School in Shurugwi.newsday