Murder, rape, sodomy, robbery gang nabbed

Authorities in Gweru have arrested four men believed to be behind 15 cases of murder, rape, sodomy and armed robbery in the Midlands capital.

The quartet allegedly sodomised a man from Hertfordshire suburb in Gweru during the course of an armed robbery.

Acting Midlands Province police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said she was still looking for details about the arrest of the four suspects and could not immediately comment yesterday.

National Police Spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she was off duty and could not comment on the matter while Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said he would get back to The Chronicle with a comment.

However, the arrest of Simon Kurambwa alias Brian Dominic of Mkoba 1, Gweru, recently released prisoner for plain robbery cases Tafadzwa Rafamoyo alias John Mero of Plot 80, I-Japu, Chegutu, James Masocha alias Jimara of Plot number 272 Golden Ridge, Copper Queen, Gokwe and Justin Sibanda of Mkoba 17 is the talk of Gweru as residents are now relieved since they feared travelling at night.

Two other members of the gang are still at large and police investigations are underway.

Police sources told The Chronicle that Kurambwa, Rafamoyo, Masocha and Sibanda were arrested following the brutal murder of a Zanu-PF Youth League member, Charity Khumalo in Mkoba 6 suburb on Friday morning.

According to the sources, on August 7 officers on blitz duties in Mkoba received a tip-off from a member of the public who resides in Mkoba Village 1.

 The resident said there was a man who had a bag full of Android cellphones, a knife, pliers, spanner and some male clothing at a house in the suburb.

The police raided the house and arrested Kurambwa, whom they found fast asleep.

They recovered three Android cellphones, a stainless steel knife, male clothing and pliers.

“When the police conducted checks on the recovered cellphones, it was noted that one of the cellphones had the name of the deceased Charity Khumalo who was murdered along Makoni Street, in Mkoba Village 6, Gweru on the August 4,” said the source.

“Kurambwa implicated Rafamoyo, Masocha and Sibanda.”

The source said a manhunt for the remaining two suspects is underway.

“The accused persons indicated that they had committed robberies in Woodlands, Mkoba, Hertfordshire and Mtapa suburbs in Gweru and in Mbizo, Kwekwe and also at times raped and sodomised their victims. The gang said they used knives in committing the crimes,” said the source.

Asst Insp Mukwende said Khumalo was stabbed to death on Friday morning on her way to Mkoba 6 shopping centre to buy beer for a funeral wake she was attending.

She said Khumalo of Mkoba 6 was stabbed on her right breast leading to her death.

Asst Insp Mukwende said mourners at the funeral wake found her lying on the ground complaining that she had been stabbed and had been robbed of money and a mobile phone.

“It is said on August 4 along Makoni Street Mkoba 6, Gweru, three unknown male accused persons at around 4AM met Khumalo with her workmate who were proceeding to Mkoba 6 from Mkoba 5.

“The two were attacked with knives. Khumalo’s workmate managed to flee and left her at the mercy of the murderers.

“Khumalo’s workmate went back to the funeral wake in Mkoba 5 and alerted other mourners for assistance. By the time they reached the scene they found Khumalo lying on the ground,” said Asst Insp Mukwende.

Khumalo was taken to Gweru Provincial Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival and her body is awaiting postmortem at the same facility. state media