By Fidelis Munyoro
A Chinhoyi-based police officer, Clive Kadambure, and his brother-in-law Edmore Manuwere, accused of attempting to smuggle six semi-automatic rifles out of the country, last week saw their individual bail applications at the High Court struck off the roll.
The court will now consider a joint application by the pair and their alleged Bulawayo accomplice, Wonder Kwaramba. But both the State and defence agreed to have the three bail applications consolidated into a single matter as the three allegedly acted in common purpose.
Justice Jester Charewa agreed with the consolidation and struck the individual applications off the roll. The three are facing charges of contravening the Firearms Act pertaining to purchasing, acquiring or possessing any ammunition without holding a firearm certificate.
Charges against Kadambure are that on March 16, detectives from CID Masvingo heard that he was wanted by CID Mwenezi in connection with the smuggling of guns through the Sango Border Post.
Some suspects arrested trying to sneak out firearms had implicated Kadambure as an accomplice. On that same day detectives from CID Chinhoyi arrested Kadambure before escorting him to his house in Hunyani Infill, Chinhoyi, to repossess a CZ service pistol in his possession.
When the pistol could not be found he phoned his wife, Shyness, and she told him where she had hidden the pistol. The detectives searched the vegetable garden and found 58 rounds of .375 Honardy Ruger ammunition buried underground, leading to the arrest of Shyness, a teacher at Alaska Primary School.
The other suspects, Sango Border Post principal immigration officer Wilbert Muneri (36) and Kennedy Ainos Mutanhaurwa (31), were arrested and appeared before a Chiredzi magistrate facing charges of smuggling six guns.
They were netted at a boom gate in the Gonarezhou National Park.
During interrogation, Muneri said they were taking the guns to Mozambique before implicating Kadambure. Muneri and Mutanhaurwa were remanded in custody.
Kadambure’s brother-in-law Manuwere (28) has since been jailed for illegal possession of firearms but has been granted bail pending appeal by the High Court.
Chiredzi magistrate Ms Joy Masimba Chikonzero sentenced him to two years in jail for illegal possession of firearms.
Manuwere was arrested at Makambe in Chiredzi North for possessing firearms. It is alleged that on March 15, Munewere connived with Kadambure to transfer six hunting rifles to Muneri, a Zimra official at Sango Border Post and his accomplice Mutanhaurwa.
The assortment of hunting rifles comprised of 1 Remmington 700 rifle,1 Gal 375, 2 HH MAG 375, 1 W/N MAG 458, and 1 CORMKI MAX 375.
It is alleged that while at Makambe, along Rutenga Sango Border Post road, he transferred the six guns from a white Toyota Hilux owned by Kadambure into a white Mazda B1600 truck belonging to Muneri.
The rifles were to be delivered to a Mozambican, Merthus Bertuel Novela, at Chebhuto in Mozambique. Muneri and Mutanhaurwa ran out of luck after police were informed. The six guns, whose serial numbers were obliterated, were recovered from the back seat of their vehicle.
Upon their arrest, the two revealed they received the guns from Manuwere and Kadambure to hand them over to a Novela. Muneri and Mutanhaurwa were the first to be arrested and appeared in court and were granted bail by the Masvingo High Court.
Charges against Kwaramba arose during the period from 2016 to date, when he allegedly acquired fake firearms certificates in his name and used them to buy different high calibre rifles from different registered firearms dealers.
He would allegedly sell the weapons to poachers and armed robbers. Some of the firearms were being smuggled to neighbouring countries including Mozambique.