MASVINGO – High Court Judge, Justice Sunsley Zisengwe has denied bail to Arnold Musimudziwa (29) of Mucheke who is facing 80 counts of armed robbery.
He said giving such a suspect bail will erode public confidence in the judiciary system.
Musimudziwa who was a malaicha and targeted his clients whom he knew had money committed the cases in various parts of the country using firearms. Victims lost a total of US$41 000 in Masvingo alone, cellphones, firearms and car keys among other valuables.
He committed 28 armed robbery cases in Beitbridge, 22 in Masvingo, 14 in Zvishavane and other cases in Ngundu. The cases are being tried separately at different magistrates’ courts.
Musimudziwa had approached the High Court in Masvingo seeking bail on the 22 counts in Masvingo. Justice Zisengwe further said that the use of a firearm attracts a lengthy sentence which could force Musimudziwa to abscond.
“The number of counts that Musimudziwa is facing is too much and the use of a firearm attracts a lengthy sentence. Thirdly, there is overwhelming formal and informal evidence from the State. Last but most importantly I cannot grant you bail because that will erode the public’s confidence in the judicial system,” said Justice Zisengwe.
Musimudziwa is jointly charged on the 22 counts with Marshal Mutekwa (27) and Julius Chibharo (35) who are in remand prison in Beitbridge. The three are also jointly charged together with Charles Chekenyere and Freedom Ndudzo on the 28 counts committed n Beitbridge.
Musimudziwa was arrested at his home in Pangolin in December 2021, three days after being granted bail at Beitbridge Magistrates Court for the 28 counts committed in the border town. He was arrested together with four accomplices who were all denied bail.
The gang was first nabbed by a joint taskforce of CID detectives from Masvingo, Zvishavane and Beitbridge on November 11, 2021 at Ngundu.
The first four counts in Masvingo were committed on July 3, 2021 at house number 16901, Mucheke F. The gang allegedly pounced on Obey Wasarira and robbed him of US$21 000 and a Samsung A71 cellphone at gunpoint. They also robbed Silvasiso Kumira of a Samsung A21 cellphone, Tatenda Muvha a Samsung S9 edge cellphone and Shumirai Urayi of a Samsung A56 cellphone.
The next robbery was committed on July 19, 2021 at house number 28383 Hillside Extension. The gang robbed Rambisai Chimwanda of US$1 100, R5 000, a star pistol serial number 870577, keys for a Mercedes Benz and a Toyota baby quantum and four body perfumes. They also robbed Delight Chimwanda of a G-Tel X7S. Courage Chimwanda lost US$45, a G-tel S8, Itel S16 and an Adidas bag to the gang