HARARE – A soldier and a police officer are among four suspects arrested after a police shootout with suspected armed robbers in Harare on Wednesday.
A fifth suspect was killed in the incident near Showgrounds while two got away, police said.
Police detectives were tipped off that the seven suspects were planning to rob a house on Gelcon Avenue in Greendale and surveillance was set up.
Officers watched the suspects parking their vehicles – a South Africa-registered dark blue Golf 6 and a navy-blue Toyota Corolla – near the target property.
The mission did not go to plan, however, when dogs started barking. This forced the suspects to retreat to their vehicles before they drove into town, shadowed by police officers.
The suspects drove to a Glow Petroleum service station near Showgrounds along Bulawayo road and parked their vehicles.
A team from the Criminal Investigations Department, according to police, approached the suspects and indicated that they were police officers.
“Upon noticing the presence of the detectives, the accused persons started firing towards the team. The team returned fire and a shootout ensued,” according to a police report of the incident seen by ZimLive.
Three suspects – Dalubuhle Ndlovu, 36, Precious Dube, 40, and Meluleki Makhalima – were shot. Thulani Maphosa, 30, and Michael Khanyiso Moyo, 47, were placed under arrest as the injured were taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital where Makhalima was pronounced dead on arrival.
Police said two other suspects managed to get away in the Golf 6. The suspects have been identified only as Sean, said to be a South African national, and a Fundisani from Bulawayo.
Investigators recovered a pistol and a revolver at the scene.
Police said when the suspects were processed, it was discovered that Maphosa is a soldier with 9 Signals in Bulawayo while Ndlovu is a police officer stationed at Pumula Police Station in Bulawayo.
Moyo, police said, is a Zimbabwean living in the Johannesburg suburb of Hillbrow in South Africa while Dube lives in Old Lobengula in Bulawayo.
Police said Dube was a wanted suspect over a cash-in-transit robbery near Connemara Prison on November 25 last year when US$334,000 was stolen from a Fawcett Security van. Police later said the robbery was an inside job after arresting a Fawcett security guard and some of his accomplices.