Zimbabwe: Musa Taj Abdul Gang Member Case Deferred

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13 April 2021

Harare magistrate Mr Dennis Mangosi has deferred to May 26 the matter for suspected armed robber Douglas Mutenda, who is believed to be a member of a gang led by, Musa Taj Abdul.

Mutenda is facing several counts of armed robberies and was last year released on $5 000 bail after the State consented to bail on the basis that some of his co-accused were also out on bail. He was re-arrested on Christmas Eve in Mhondoro after a warrant of arrest was issued against him for absconding.

Mutenda will stand trial with co-accused Prince Makodza, Carrington Marasha, Liberty Mupanhanga, Godfrey Mupamhanga, Spicer Takawira and Musafare Mupanhanga.

Mutenda is also facing other armed robbery charges with Eddison Mashamhanda, Spicer Takawira, Makodza, Musafare Mupanhanga, Nevanji Madanhire, Christopher Mashamhanda and Dudzai Chidangwara.

Mutenda is also expected to appear in court for routine remand on similar charges with Taj Abdul, Musafare and Godfrey Mupanhanga, Spicer Takawira, Marasha, Benjamin Chitunhu and Conwell Kasambarare.

Mutenda was initially denied bail when he lodged an application at the High Court on October 20, 2020.

The State led by Mr Chesa, opposed the application arguing that the prosecution had a very strong case against him.

Mr Chesa also told the court that Mutenda had led to recoveries of some of the stolen items adding that there was Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage showing him at one of the crime scenes, Mashwede entertainment centre in Glen View, where they got away with more than US$100 000 in an armed robbery.

His accomplices also implicated him and there were phone calls linking him to the offence, all of which left the prosecution with a very strong case against him.

High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi dismissed Mutenda's bail application on grounds that he was likely to abscond and that he was facing serious charges.

Barely a month after his bail application was dismissed at the High Court, Mutenda engaged a different lawyer and approached the same court, and went before a different judge. New lawyer Mrs Concilia Maheya made a fresh bail application citing changed circumstances on December 8, 2020.

In that application, Mutenda argued that his co-accused, Musafare Mupanhanga, Spicer Takawira, Benjamin Chitunhu and Conwell Kasambarare, had been granted bail.

He also argued that he had no pending cases as the State had alleged. Mr Chesa responded to the fresh bail application on the same day consenting.

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