More than 11 people were this week arrested and one was killed after a cash heist involving $2.7 Million that was being transported to various ZB Bank Branches around Zimbabwe. At least 10 more people remain unaccounted for in the heist, most of them suspected to be military and intelligence officers.

Two serving soldiers and a number of retired soldiers were arrested by investigators for the well planned cash heist,  with some being arrested inside the Military Baracks.

Many more soldiers that were involved in the heist have not been accounted for.

Other military figures are expected to be arrested, although it’s unlikely that the kingpins will be apprehended.

According to media reports from Harare, 7 members of the military gang  have already appeared in court and one of them,  Andrew Zigara, was shot dead by detectives on Thursday in Zaka.

However, what is alarming is the use of military bases for the planning of the robbery and keeping of the loot, which may point to the possibility that the kingpins Re senior military officials.

A big chunk of the money has not been recovered, meaning the kingpins have already obtained their cut.

Profiles Of Those involved

In total, 11 people have been identified by investigators as being part of the heist.

1. Two of the people arrested whose ID numbers were not listed (Accused 5 and 7). The failure to reveal their ID numbers is an indication that these two are from a highly specialized unit, for example the presidential guard or military intelligence.

2. A big number of the accused has the district code 63 on their ID numbers, indicating that they could be people who come from the same area. three have district code 49 (Mudzi)

Gerald Rutizirira, a prominent ZANUPF Land Baron from Southerly Park, was arrested and $110 000 was recovered from him. His Red Hilux was used to carry away the car. He later painted his car white to conceal the crime.

3. Three employees of ZB Bank from the security department.

4. 2 are brothers, Kelvin Musakwa and Fanuel Musakwa.

5. Three are from Mbare Flats Block 3 and they are all from Mudzi ( Accused 7 , 8 and 9).

6. Two are serving soldiers (Accused 10 and 11 Lieutenant and Corporal)

What did they do with the money

1. The bulk of the money has not been recovered ( Only about $500 000 has been recovered).

2. Most of the accused bought cars and houses.

Accused 4 – $110 000

Accused 5 – $ 48 000

Accused 6 – $78 000

Accused 7 – $ 48 000

Accused 8 – $ 35 000

Accused 9 – $ Nothing recovered.

Accused 10 – $ 170 000

Accused 11 – $55 000 ( Sister and Brother vanished with the rest)

Recent Cash Heists involving soldiers

  1. On 2 December 2020, A Mukuru van was robbed of $60 000 cash in Chivi (Safeguard).
  2. November 2020 ($2 Million in Bulawayo ZUPCO five robbers)
  3. August 2020 ($306 000 – 2 Safeguard employees made off with cash)

Peculiar Facts About The Case

1. The complainant in the case is the Principal Internal Auditor, Patrick Nengomasha (61), and not the investigations or security departments. This implies that more people in these departments could be involved.

2. The amount of cash being moved was too much for the type of car used ( USD 2.7 Million). There are also a number of CIT service providers who could moved the cash for ZB Bank, bit these were not being used. This could point to very senior people in the bank being involved in the Heist.

3. The killing of an unarmed member of the gang in Zama could be seen as suspicious, given the fact that he was not armed and he was fleeing and not attacking.

In Conclusion

1. The involvement of soldiers in armed robberies and cash heists is a national security threats because these illicit funds could potentially end up being used to fund a violent take-over.

2. There is a possibility that senior military officials are commanding these violent activities using army bases as hideouts.

3. Violent crime discourages foreign direct investment as businesses fear for their property and life.

4. The kingpins behind the heists have not been caught and more heists will follow.

Below is the full police report on the cash heist.

UPDATE MEMORANDUM

SUBJECT:​ARMED ROBBERY AS DEFINED IN SECTION 126 OF THE
​CRIMINAL LAW (CODIFICATION AND REFORM) ACT
CHAPTER 9:23 AT GWEBI RIVER 55 KM PEG ALONG HARARE – CHIRUNDU ROAD

This memorandum serves as an update to my previous memorandum HOM 30-21 on the above subject matter.

Complainant​Patrick Nengomasha aged 61 years
​NR: 63-018150 N 42
​Res: 6 Montreal Avenue, Braeside, Harare.
​Bus: ZB Bank 21 Natal road, Avondale
Post: Principal Internal Auditor

Accused ​[1] ​Nomatter Jonga aged 43 years
​NR: 50-073584 H 47
​Res: 15858 Sunningdale 2, Harare.
​Bus: ZB Bank 21 Natal road, Avondale

[2] Mathew Simango aged 66 years
NR: 13-054006 L 13
Res: 13 Amalinda road, Glenview 7, Harare
Bus: ZB Bank 21 Natal road, Avondale

​[3] ​Fanuel Musakwa aged 34 years
​NR: 63- 1297464 V 34
​Res: 5854 Kuwadzana 5, Harare.
​Bus: ZB Bank 21 Natal road, Avondale

[4] Gerald Rutizira aged 36 years
​ NR: 18-097047 C80
​Res: 187 Amsterdam Park, Harare.
​Bus: Not employed.

[5] Kelvin Musakwa aged 25 years
NR Unknown
Res: 5254 Kuwadzana 7, Harare.
​Bus: Not employed

[6] ​Tendai Zuze aged 35 years
​NR 49-113360 P 49
​​Res: 2004-183 Block 3, Mbare Flats, Harare.
​Bus: Not employed

[7] ​Neverson Mwamuka aged 35 years
​NR 49-113360 P 49
​Res: 2004-183 Block 3, Mbare Flats, Harare.
​Bus: Not employed

[8] ​Trymore Chapfika aged 36 years
​NR 49-064955 Q 48
​Res: 213 Block 3, Mbare Flats Harare.
​Bus: Not employed

[9] ​Tozivepi Chirara aged 28 years
​NR 24-208889 J 38
​Res: 12-9th Street, Warren Park 1, Harare.
​Bus: Not employed

[10] ​Charles Chirara aged 30 years
​NR 63-1484685 W 38
​Res: 573 Ushewokunze, Harare.
​Bus: 5.3 Infantry Battalion, Battlefields, Kwekwe
​Rank: Corporal
​Force number: 834060L

[11] ​Terrence Matimba aged 28 years
​NR 63-1494306 D 80
​Res: 1667 Lusaka, Highfield, Harare.
​Bus: Parachute Regiment, Inkomo Barracks, Nyabira
​Rank: Lieutenant
​Force number: 788943W

Circumstances
On 6 January 2021 at around 1130 hours, the accused 1,2 and 3 who are employed as security cash in transit crew were tasked to carry seven boxes containing cash amounting to US$2 775 000 dollars. The cash was to be distributed to ZB Bank branches Chinhoyi US$75 000, Kadoma US$250 000, Kwekwe US$150 000, Gweru US$150 000 and Fife Street Bulawayo Branch US$2 000 000, Gwanda US$50 000 and Zvishavane US$100 000 by the suspects. The three were driving Toyota Hilux Revo, white in colour, single cab registration number AEC 6040 with a canopy. The trio connived with other accomplices to steal cash from the bank and stage a robbery such that part of the accused would intercept them whilst other accomplices pose as passengers who had been offered a lift. Along the way, the 3 accused picked three unknown persons at Westgate roundabout.

They arrived at Inkomo tollgate and took one box containing ZW$43 090 which was to be deposited at the bank. The three drove off towards Chinhoyi and picked 3 more accomplices at Inkomo turn off. When they had reached at 55 Km peg, suspect [2] signalled the driver [accused [1] to stop the vehicle purportedly to relieve himself by beeping on his cellphone. A red Toyota twin cab pulled off the road where four black male adults who were all armed with unidentified pistols confronted them.

They manhandled and disarmed accused [1] and [2] who were armed with a 9mm Llama pistol serial number 736869 and a S.M.L.E Rifle serial number D6471 respectively and took the firearms. They bundled them into the vehicle canopy where one of them took control of the vehicle and drove off the road into Plot 3, Little England, Nyabira where they stopped after about 2 kilometres. Accused offloaded all the cash boxes from the transit vehicle and loaded them into a red twin cab, registration numbers not captured whilst the three passengers picked from Westgate and the 3 accused were in the canopy. They also took all their cellphones and went away. The three managed to open the canopy and sought help from a villager Brenda Maponga NFPK contactable on cell number 0776 020 635 who called the police at ZRP Nyabira.

Scene was attended by ZRP Nyabira and CID Homicide Harare who made the following observations:-

➢ Scene is a turn off located about 60 kilometers away from Harare along Harare-Chirundu road,
➢ The vehicle, a Toyata Hilux Revo single cab white in colour bearing registration number AEC 6040 with a canopy was recovered dumped at Plot 3 Little England, Nyabira, The vehicle is unmarked and is not visibly distinguished to be of cash in transit.
➢ No spent were found at the scene of crime, a possibility that the firearm could have been a revolver,
➢ Passengers who were picked at Westgate a man, woman and a child were left stranded at the scene with the three suspects but those 3 male passengers picked at Inkomo Barracks turns off vanished with the accused persons.

➢ Interviewed was Allan Muvirimi, a male juvenile aged 12 years of Plot 3 Little England, Nyabira who stated that he was in the company of his young brother along Harare-Chirundu road selling fresh maize cobs, tomatoes and cucumbers. He stated that the suspects’ motor vehicle stopped on the side of the road where the driver disembarked to open the back door. Suddenly he was confronted by unknown accused persons driving a red Toyota double cab vehicle who produced pistols and fired two shots at them.

➢ Accused pushed the suspects into the vehicle and drove off the tarred road towards Plot 3 Little England and one of the accused followed behind using the red Toyota double cab vehicle where it later stopped and accused took some silver boxes into their vehicle and went away.

➢ Interviewed was Hazvinei Masuka aged 34 years, NR 86-062146 K 27, plot 13 Sunside A, Nyabira who mentioned that around 1430 hours she saw one silver Honda fit, red twin cab and another silver car which parked along the road near her house. She mentioned that about ten black male adults came out of the car and started to break the locks on the cash boxes for about 30 minutes. She then called ZRP Nyabira and they recovered 7 broken cash boxes about 40 kilometres from where the suspect’s motor vehicle was dumped.

➢ The boxes were recovered wet after some incessant rains experienced and there are no possibilities of fingerprints.
➢ Preliminary investigations suggests that the robbery could be an inside heist by the suspects.

On 8 January 2021, detectives from CID Homicide Harare re-visited the scene of crime. They conducted a search at the scene and recovered 2x9mm spent cartridge cases which were immediately referred to CID Ballistics for examination. On the same date detectives from CID Scenes of Crime attended the scene and uplifted fingerprints from the dumped motor vehicle.

On the same day Detectives from CID Homicide Harare received information to the effect that accused 4 also participated in the robbery and that he was the owner of the red Toyota Hilux registration number AEC 9884 motor-vehicle which was used during the commission of crime. Further information was received that the accused was at his place of residence. Acting on the information received, Detectives proceeded to accused residence and arrested him. He was interviewed and led to the recovery of US$96 100-00 stashed under the mattress. Also recovered was a Toyota Hiace registration number AFI 3333 which he bought with part of his share.

On 9 January 2021, the three five accused persons were taken to Harare Magistrate’s Court for initial remand. They appeared before Magistrate Ms Babra Mateko whilst the State was represented by Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti. All the three accused persons were remanded in custody to 13 January 2021 for bail application. They were not represented.

On that same day detectives received information that accused [5] who was part of syndicate that stole cash from the complainant and that he was at his house at number 5254 Kuwadzana 7, Harare. Detectives reacted to the information and arrested the accused person. The accused person then led detectives to the recovery of cash USS$48 000-00 that was hidden in a car garage in Bariri village, Chief Saunyama Nyanga District his rural home where it was hidden in a garage.

On 10 January 2021, detectives from CID Homicide picked information to the effect that accused [6] was involved in the commission of the offence. Detectives made a follow up and arrested accused [5] at Mavhaire shopping Centre, Murambinda and he led to the recovery of cash amounting to US$35 082, ZW$360 and a Toyota Hiace baby Quantum on temporary registration numbers 90012076957, chassis number KDH200-0062082, Engine number 1542656, black in colour which he had bought for USD$12 500. The recovered cash and motor vehicle are currently held as Exhibits.

On 11 January 2021, detectives from CID Homicide pickled information to the effect that accused [7] was involved in the commission of the offence. Detectives made a follow up and arrested accused [7] at Goromonzi Tollgate, Goromonzi. They conducted a search on him and recovered cash amounting to US$74 844, ZW$675 which was contained in a satchel. He led to the recovery of a get away motor vehicle, Toyota Lexus silver in colour on registration numbers ADE 5951 used in the commission of the offence was also recovered from his friend. Also recovered was a Honda Fit not yet registered, Engine number L13A2178769, Chassis number DTD12258435 which was bought by the accused person using the stolen cash for US$4 000 from his girlfriend Unity Mafudza aged 24 years NR 07-235302 H 07 of House number M920 Chivhu Location, Chivhu. The accused implicated accused 8 and others who are still at large. The recovered cash is currently held as Exhibits. On the same date, detectives from CID Homicide Harare quickly made a follow up on accused [8] and arrested him at number 213 Block 3, Mbare Flats, Harare and he led to the recovery of cash amounting to US$38 900, ZW$375. The recovered cash is currently held as Exhibit.

On 11 January 2021, accused 9 was arrested by detectives near National Sports Stadium driving a blue Toyota Altezza registration unknown. The accused was interviewed and he implicated his brother accused 10, Artwell Nyasha Chiteka and Terrence Matimba, Tawanda Kudakwashe Gadzikwa alias Manyanga, Gerald Rutizirira, Shadreck Njowa, Partson Matengambiri and others already arrested as his accomplices. Accused 10 led detectives to Luckiestaar Madimbu aged 35 years NR: 59-080502 L 18 of house number 2008 Cardinal Avenue, Arlington Estate, Hatfield, Harare whom he gave US$100 000-00 for safekeeping.

Same facilitated the purchase of a house situated at number 5833 Hambakubvu Circle, New Mabvuku, Harare on behalf of the accused from his aunt, Violla Madimbu aged 65 years NR: 63-400354 C 18 of house number 239 Grobbie Park, Waterfalls, Harare for a total purchase price of US$40 000 and cash amounting to US$37 800 was recovered. Same also led detectives to the recovery of cash amounting to US$40 000 which was stashed in the ceiling and the money was for safe keeping. He further stated that he used cash amounting to US$20 000 to boost his business and deposited for cell phones in Dubai and the payment was made on 10 January 2020. Accused 10 also led detectives to the recovery of a black Subaru Forester on registration number AET 0838 for a total purchase price of US$5400-00 which he had recently bought from Bothwell Kamwendo NR: 25-080431 M 25 of house number 10 Volendam Court situated at corner Harare and Tongogara Streets, Harare and it was paid in full. The vehicle was recovered as part of proceeds to crime and held as Exhibit.

Accused 10 then also led detectives to 5.2 Infantry Batallion, Battlefields, Kwekwe where accused 11 was arrested. Accused was interviewed and he implicated already arrested accused persons and others still at large as his accomplices. He led detectives to the recovery of a silver Toyota Passo on registration number AEW 9036 which they used during and after the commission of the offence. The vehicle was immediately recovered and held as Exhibit. He also led detectives to his brother’s residence, number 11A Beit Street, Shurugwi where he had given his brother, Berrington Chirara cash amounting to US$60 000 for safekeeping but he could not be located and his whereabouts are not known.

Accused 10 also led detectives to the arrest of accused 11 at 5.3 Infantry Batallion, Battlefields, Kwekwe. Accused as interviewed and he implicated accused persons already arrested and others still at large as his accomplices. Accused led us to his residence number 1667 Lusaka, Highfield, Harare where cash amounting to US$55 000 was recovered.
He also led detectives to Mukuvisi River where a Llama CZ pistol serial number 736869 loaded with 2 live rounds was recovered stashed underneath the sewage pipeline. Checks were made with Central Firearms Registry and it was established that it was the firearm robbed from the security guard.

Accused 11 thereafter led detectives to his sister’s residence, number 673 Ushewokunze, Harare unfortunately his sister, Juliet Chirara and his wife Chiedza Chirara Musvibe could not be located since they had already vanished with the cash.

Efforts are underway to account for the accused 11’s sister, wife and brother who are on the run with the stolen cash and house ownership documents.

On 13 January 2021, accused 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 were taken to Harare Magistrate Court for intitial remand. They appeared in court number 6 (six) before Magistrate Mrs Judith Taruvinga¸whilst Mrs Linda Gadzikwa appeared for the State. Accused 4, 6, and 7 were represented by Mr Muwirimi of Muwirimi Law Firm, whilst accused 5 and 8 were not represented. The accused persons were remanded in custody to 17 February 2021 for routine remand and they were advised to apply for bail through the High Court. An application for a Warrant for further detention in respect of accccused 9, 10 and 11 was granted by the same court to the 15th of January 2021.

Total cash stolen is USD$2 775 000 and ZW$43 090 and cash amounting to US$425 726 and ZW$1 410 and motor vehicles worth US$30 900 to make a total of US$456 626 have been recovered so far.

OUTSTANDING.

✓ To arrest about 10 outstanding accused persons and recover the outstanding stolen property.

ZRP Nyabira CR 14/01/21 and CID Homicide Harare DR 29/01/21 and Harare Magistrate’s Court CRB HreP 36-8/21 and 441-45/21 refers.

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT
Hom: 33-21
13 January 2021