The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Armed Robbers Caught While Waiting for Sadza

EIGHT suspected armed robbers armed with machetes raided a game park in Bindura and stole five guns, various rounds of ammunition and valuable goods on Thursday afternoon.

The suspected robbers who have since been arrested also forced a 69-year-old housemaid to cook food for them at gunpoint.

Chief police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba yesterday confirmed the report.

"The eight who were armed with machetes were arrested yesterday (Thursday) at around 1500hours after they forcefully gained entry at a farm house at Dombarera Game Park in Matepatepa farming area in Bindura," she said.

She said after gaining entry, the robbers broke a gun cabinet and stole four rifles, a pistol, various ammunition, binoculars, clothes, digital camera, magnifying glass, three cellphones and various other goods.

Police were informed and reacted swiftly.

They found the suspects still at the game park after forcing the maid to cook food for them at gunpoint.

"The suspects were then arrested and investigations are still in progress. They are expected to appear in court soon facing robbery charges," Asst Comm Charamba said.

Cases of armed robberies have been increasing countrywide with police saying they would crack down on most of the criminals on their wanted list to ensure that sanity prevails.

This year, at least 2 000 suspects are roaming the streets free as their appeals could not be dealt with timeously due to shortage of transcribers and poor recording equipment, a development that was compromising the justice delivery system.

The protracted delays have resulted in the suspects, among them carjackers, rapists, armed robbers and fraudsters, continuing with their criminal activities while others have since breached their bail conditions and disappeared.

Judicial Service Commission deputy secretary Mr Rex Shana recently said the High Court was sitting on 2 000 appeal cases while the Supreme Court had 122 cases.

He lamented the huge backlog citing a combination of factors.

Last year, police confirmed that hardcore criminals released from Harare jails were believed to be committing armed robberies and carjackings.

Some of these criminals were reportedly released on bail pending appeal and others were said to have completed their sentences.

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