Mutare — A Mozambican national believed to be part of an armed gang that terrorised the affluent suburbs of Mutare will spend Christmas in remand prison after a city magistrate refused him bail this Tuesday.
Domingo Luis Zuze, 29, of Bairo Vumba, Manica in Mozambique was this Tuesday remanded in custody to December 27 for trial and advised to apply for bail at the High Court.
Rejecting the suspect's bid for conditional release, magistrate Perseverance Makala said the accused was facing serious charges and also of no fixed abode.
The judge added that the suspect has previous convictions and pending court cases, meaning he might abscond if granted bail.
"Considering the gravity of his case, the accused may sneak to his native country. People feel safer if he remains in custody, "said the magistrate.
Zuze is facing 24 counts of armed robbery and rape allegations.
He was arrested after he, along with accomplices still at large, broke into one Idah Murewanhema's home armed with machetes, knives, hammers and other deadly weapons.
Police reacted swiftly, firing warning shots after Murewanhema phoned for assistance.
Zuze was arrested while his accomplices jumped the property's durawall and escaped.
Prosecutor Matthew Chimutunga told court that Zuze terrorised parts of Mutare over the past three months, working in cahoots with accomplices identified as Agoshtinyu Chirara and one Peter who are still at large.
Thesuspects reportedly broke into 24 homesteads and stole household property worththousands of dollars in addition to raping some of those they robbed.
"The criminal offences were extremely damaging as most people lost their valuable properties while some women were left traumatised after being raped by the suspects," said Chimutunga.