Armed robbery: Cop killer arrested

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

AN armed robber who shot dead a policeman during a foiled robbery in New Luveve suburb in Bulawayo has been arrested.

The policeman, Constable Gibson Tafara Madzimure (35), was shot in the head at the home of an alleged illegal foreign currency dealer, Last Mukomawashe.

Constable Madzimure was rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrest.

“The armed robber who shot and killed Constable Madzimure has been arrested. We shall give out more details about this later,” said Assistant Commissioner Nyathi.

It is said that Mukomawashe had earlier on sought the help of police after reporting that he was being followed by suspicious people.

“Mukomawashe told police he had been given information that he was being targeted by an armed robbery gang which travelled all the way from their base in South Africa,” said a police source.

Acting on the information, a team of detectives from CID Homicide and a Police Special Tactics Team from ZRP Support Unit at Fairbridge were placed on high alert to monitor Mukomawashe, while some officers were stationed at his home in New Luveve.

At about 7PM, Mukomawashe arrived home.

“When Constable Madzimure saw Mukomawashe open the gate, he moved forward from his position without observing the three-armed robbers who were now just closely behind Mukomawashe. He was shot in the head by one of the suspects who fled from the scene on foot,” added a police source.

On the same night, at Unity Village, corner Joshua Nkomo Street and 6th Avenue in the city centre, there was a shoot-out between police and suspected armed robbers that led to the death of one of the suspects at the scene.

The other suspects ran away and police recovered a Star pistol with 9mm x 6 rounds of ammunition, CZ pistol with a magazine of 10 rounds and a VW Golf motor vehicle with no number plates.

Last Saturday, police shot and killed three armed robbers trying to rob a mining equipment dealer in Bulawayo’s Fourwinds suburb. Three others were taken into custody and have appeared in court.

The six-armed robbers are part of a gang that recently raided Choppies Supermarket in Parklands and Access Finance in the city, getting away with nearly US$300 000 and R1 million.

Police said the six are linked to other armed robberies in the city, and had also just come in from South Africa with the intention of committing robberies.

Between March and June this year, Bulawayo police reported 32 armed robberies in the city, including the fatal shooting of a till operator at a liquor store in Ascot.