Notorious gang appears in court facing eight counts of armed robbery

HARARE – Three suspected armed robbers, who are part of a notorious gang that was involved in a fatal shootout with police in Melfort early this week, appeared in court Friday charged with eight counts of the violent crime.

The three are Alfa Mananga, 32, Zondani Ngarande, 25, and Thulani Munetsi.

Their accomplices Courage Dumba, 35, and Robson Mhandu, 29, were remanded in hospital over wounds sustained when they were cornered and shot by police details while trying to escape from their hideout in Melfort.

The other suspect Tichaona Kariwo was fatally shot during the exchange of gunfire.

Ngarande and Munetsi appeared before Harare regional magistrate Stanford Mambanje answering to armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms.

They were remanded in custody to February 20.

Prosecutors allege other suspects are still on the run.

So far, the gang is facing eight counts of armed robbery.

According to court papers, in one of the incidents, on February 19, 2022, the suspects, together with Tendayi Munengwa, Blessing Dandazi, Jealous Mafuwa, Trust Saidi who are still at large, robbed a Harare woman of US$3,170 before they stole her car.

Court heard on 20 February 2022, the gang robbed a couple which was coming from church of US$120 and its cell phones.

In June 2022, they robbed a shop which was being guarded by RAMS security guards after tying them with shoe laces, getting away with US$13,000.

It is alleged that on July 13, 2022, the gang attacked a Harare family and fled with a Toyota Hilux Legend, US$5,000 cash and two cell phones.

The gang was eventually arrested on January 4 after investigations led detectives to their hideout.

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