Sharon Chiware, Midlands Reporter
FIVE men suspected to have committed murder, gang rape and armed robberies in Gweru have pleaded not guilty before a Midlands Provincial Magistrate.
The court gallery was fully packed as scores of Gweru residents turned up to follow the proceedings on Thursday.
Brighton Moyo from Kadoma, Tafadzwa Rafamoyo alias John Mero of Plot 80, I-Japu, Chegutu, James Masocha alias Jimara of Plot number 272 Golden Ridge, Copper Queen, Gokwe, Simon Kurambwa alias Brian Dominic of Mkoba 1, Gweru, who was recently released from jail for robbery as well as Justice Ncube of Mkoba 17 appeared before Midlands Provincial Magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa.
Moyo, Masocha, Kurambwa, Rafamoyo and Ncube pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, nine counts of robbery and two counts of rape.
Ms Msipa advised them to apply for bail at the High Court and remanded them in custody to August 28.
Ms Helen Khosa and Ms Ndamukanei Chikuni appeared for the State.
The court heard that on June 5 along Peterfalk Road in Athlone suburb, Gweru, Kurambwa and Ncube allegedly threatened to stab Violet Mavungani with a knife demanding cash and took a Nokia X2, Nokia 1200, jacket and a blouse. The value of goods stolen was $65.
On the same day and at the same place, Kurambwa and Ncube allegedly threatened to stab Precious Tsikira and took a purse containing his identity particulars and money amounting to over $48.
On July 14 along a foot path between Mkoba 7 bus stop and Mkoba 3 High School, Ncube, Kurambwa and Rafamoyo allegedly used force and took a bag from a woman (name withheld) containing a Bible, national identity card and a cellphone worth $60. On the same day, the three allegedly raped her after threatening to stab her with a knife.
On the same day and on the same path the three, Ncube, Kurambwa and Rafamoyo, allegedly used force and took a Sony Experia cell phone and $2.75 from Abigal Mudadi.
The court heard that on July 21, along Woodlands Park and Mkoba 17 road Kurambwa, Ncube and Rafamoyo allegedly took an MTN Mint cellphone and demanded cash from Themba Tshuma after threatening to kill him and hitting him with a machete on the back. The property was valued at $18.
The court also heard that along the same road and on the same day, Ncube, Kurambwa and Rafamoyo allegedly took a Samsung Galaxy Star 2 and some money amounting to $14 from Tirivangani Mudzimba and the goods and money amounted to $366.
On the same day at Mkoba 12 bus stop, Kurambwa and Masocha allegedly took a cellphone and $5 from Patience Gumbo. All amounted to $29.85.
The following day, along a foot path in Mkoba 1 Kurambwa, Ncube, Rafamoyo and Masocha threatened to stab Loreen Chauke with a knife after they took a Vodafone cellphone valued at $80.
Last Friday, the five are alleged to have killed a Zanu-PF Youth League member Charity Khumalo in Mkoba 6. They stole $180 and a cellphone from her.
On the same day, while at Mkoba 4 Golf Course Kurambwa and Masocha demanded cash from Courage Nota and took an AG Mobile Silver cellphone and tackies. All amounted to $48.
The value of all the stolen goods was put at $994. — @sharonchiware1