By- A suspected serial armed robber who was also wanted for rape was arrested on Wednesday, as police continue to put their foot down in the fight against rising armed robbery cases.
The suspect, Tinashe Muguti (35) from Glen View 7 in Harare, has been on the run since May 2021 and is believed to have a committed a spate of robberies in Harare, Mazowe, Rusape, Kadoma, Bindura and Zvishavane.
Some of Muguti’s accomplices, who are already in custody, implicated him in several armed robbery cases.
The accused also served time for armed robbery for four years from 2016 until he was released.
On Friday, he appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Yeukai Dzuda facing two counts of robbery.
The State, however, indicated that it will bring more charges.
He was remanded in custody and advised to apply for bail at the High Court.
Prosecutor Mr Thomas Chanakira told the court that on May 12, 2021, Muguti and his accomplices, who have already appeared in court, proceeded to house number 24161, Unit O Extension, Chitungwiza, armed with an unidentified pistol and iron bars.
They forced open the main door and confronted two complainants who were sleeping.
They demanded cash, ransacked the house and stole cash and goods worth over US$7 000.
“The accused person force-marched one of the complainants into another room.
“Whilst inside, he forcibly removed her pant and had unprotected sexual intercourse with her without her consent before leaving the scene.
The total value of goods stolen is US$7 000 and nothing has been recovered,” Mr Chanakira said.
On the second count, the accused, in the company of his accomplices, approached the complainant, Stephen Rovha, at his residence whilst armed with an unidentified pistol.
The gang introduced themselves as police officers and accused him of illegally printing textbooks for resale.
The accused then informed him that he was under arrest and force-marched him into the house, where they assaulted him all over his body using open hands, booted feet and a screwdriver, resulting in him sustaining an injury on the left eye.
They ransacked the house and stole US$7 000 cash and a Samsung A30 phone.
During the commotion, the complainant‘s son aged 8 sneaked out of the house and ran to his uncle’s house, which is a few houses away.
The uncle teamed up with the other neighbours and proceeded to the scene.
Upon arrival, they confronted the accused person and his accomplices.
The suspects fired three shots and took the chance to run away to their getaway car — a silver Toyota Allion without number plates — before speeding off.
The accused was arrested along Mukuvisi River near Mbudzi roundabout in Harare, with evidence indicating he was planning to commit another robbery in Mazowe.