By Nyore Madzianike
Police have expressed concern over the spike in crimes being committed by repeat offenders after being freed on bail, leaving law enforcement agents with the daunting task of tracking, re-arresting and taking them to court again.
Some of the criminals have been granted bail on more than two occasions before returning to their communities where they are committing more crimes like murder, rape and armed robbery.
Police national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could not give the total number of such criminals and suspects, saying he was out of the office.
“I need to be in the office to give full details on that,” said Asst-Com Nyathi.
However, investigations by The Herald revealed that CID Harare Central is sitting on a long list of more than 50 people who continue committing crimes after being freed on bail.
On the list is Mugove Chimuti, who was arrested sometime in 2017 and appeared in court charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and possession of explosives.
Chimuti allegedly teamed up with four other suspects and robbed eight people of US$63 889 at gunpoint. On May 20, 2019 Chimuti was then freed on $500 bail by High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi, pending trial.
He went on to flout bail conditions and committed other offences including robbery. Chimuti is currently on the run and sitting on a warrant of arrest.
Another one is Harmony Nyathi, who was arrested in 2018 along with five others on attempted murder charges, five counts of armed robbery involving more than US$20 000 and unlawful possession five guns.
On January 19, 2019 Nyathi was freed on $600 bail by Justice Chitapi. Nyathi is said to have continued committing crimes and masterminded another armed robbery, which ended in a shoot-out with police.
He was shot and died during the incident. George Munyaradzi Machanyangwa, who was part of a 10-member gang that stole more than US$100 000 and RTGS$6 020 in Harare, appeared in court charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and armed robbery.
Justice Chitapi granted him $300 bail on May 22, 2019. Machanyagwa reportedly teamed up with his accomplices and went to commit other armed robberies in Kwekwe, where some of his gang members were arrested on July 13 the same year.
Craig Benjamin Musasa, allegedly stole $1 800 000 in Harare sometime in 2018. He was arrested and appeared in court before being freed on $500 bail by Justice Chitapi on January 2, 2019.
Sometime in July 2019, Musasa was allegedly involved in another robbery in Harare, which ended in a high-speed car chase with the complainant. Sensing that he was about to be netted, he dumped his car and disappeared into thin air.
His car was impounded by police and he is still on the run. Another armed robber, Juma Ali Oman, who is in the habit of pouncing on foreign nationals, was arrested sometime last year.
He was granted $100 bail, asked to report at Chitungwiza police and has never done so since his release. Transitional criminal Ishmael Chamunorwa Maoneke, who resides in South Africa, but commits crimes in Zimbabwe along with Simbarashe Matanda, targeting illegal money changers, was arrested and appeared in court facing armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearm charges.
On June 14, 2018 Maoneke was granted bail by Justice Chitapi. He grabbed the opportunity and ran way, earning himself a warrant of arrest.
His bail came despite police insisting that he was a flight risk.
In 2018, Taurai Mhunza stabbed his wife in Kuwadzana, Harare and appeared in court charged with murder. He was released on bail on August 10, 2018 before he fled the court’s jurisdiction to Zvishavane.
Mhunza was arrested again in Zvishavane and taken back to court, where he was also granted bail on May 17, 2019. Nigel Mose Jalasi is alleged to have stabbed his stepdaughter 21 times, leading to her death.
On May 29, 2019 Jalasi was granted bail at the High Court as the State was yet to receive some forensic tests results from National University of Science and Technology.
A commuter omnibus driver, Gift Musona, who ran over and killed a police officer at a roadblock was freed on bail on May 8 last year, pending trial.
Musona then disappeared before his trial commenced on June 4 of the same year. Stanslus Golden Magunje was arrested last year for armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms.
He was granted bail sometime in November, for one of the offences before being freed again in December, for yet another offence. Magunje was re-arrested for another offence and was granted bail in January this year.
Upon his release Magunje was arrested for illegal possession of firearms before he was again granted bail on April 27, 2020. Liberty Mupanhanga was arrested on several occasions for armed robbery.
He appeared in court and was first granted bail by Justice Davison Foroma sometime in November 2018. Mupanhanga was then arrested again and taken to court where he was again granted bail by Justice Chitapi in November 2019.
As if that was not enough, Mupanhanga committed another offence, leading to his arrest.