Two Harare soldiers arrested over US$40 000 armed robbery and murder

by Tulip Charowa

ARMED robbery and murder cases involving military officers continue to rise across the country, with two Harare soldiers arrested yesterday after robbing a Hatfield man of US$40 000 cash and shooting him dead afterwards.

Another soldier at Josiah Tungamirai Airbase in Gweru is also facing arrest after he shot dead a civilian motorist who was parked at the main entrance to the military facility.

In the Hatfield incident, police on Sunday evening arrested Christopher Charuma of the Air Force of Zimbabwe Manyame Airbase and another soldier, Lameck Kabara of the Zimbabwe Defence College over the December 24 robbery and murder of one Elvis Chijaka.

The two accomplices are set to appear in court this Tuesday facing charges of murder and armed robbery after US$40,000 was taken during a home invasion in Hatfield, Harare.

Police also arrested a third suspect and civilian, Perseverence Chihota, in connection with the robbery and murder. He is believed to have connived with the soldiers to raid the Hatfield home.

Police documents show that Chijaka responded to a distress call by his sister in Hatfield who was being besieged by soldiers-cum-armed robbers, Kabara and Charuma.

Police said Chijaka was shot dead after finding a robbery in progress following a call from his sister who was inside the house.

Two army men wearing balaclavas fired from an AK47 rifle and killed Chijaka, while the deceased’s brother, Brian Chijaka, was also shot and wounded.

Brian is being treated at a Harare Hospital and his condition is reported as critical.

After the robbery and shootings, the suspects drove off in a white Mercedes Benz Compressor C200 after ransacking the house and taking US$40,000 cash as well as various personal belongings.

CID Homicide detectives have since recovered 25 spent cartridges from an AK47 rifle.

The Hatfield house in question is not too far from the Chadcombe hoome of ex-CID marksman Joseph Nemaisa, who early this month shot and killed three armed robbers who were holding his family hostage and demanding cash.

Two of the robbers shot dead by Nemaisa were soldiers as well.

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