Suspected armed robbers denied bail

THREE suspected serial robbers accused of robbing a man of his vehicle at gunpoint, have been denied bail by the High Court after it ruled the trio was a flight risk.

Stephen Chikodza (25), Sasila Binda (39) and Daniel Hanzi (28) are facing a charge of armed robbery.

They allegedly robbed the complainant, Bangwani Mlilo of his Subaru vehicle in Granary, Harare, in May this year.

The three approached the High Court for bail pending trial but Justice Jester Charewa threw out their application.

She ruled the trio could not be trusted with pre-trial liberty given their attempts to flee from arrest.

“Further, given the lack of candidness of the applicants and the overwhelming evidence against them, I find that on balance, therefore, their interests are far outweighed by the interests of justice,” said Justice Charewa.

“To safeguard public safety from the likelihood of similar offences, applicants are, therefore, not good candidates for bail.”

The three were arrested after being implicated by their co-accused Zephania Munyuki (34), who has since been granted bail.

Munyuki was arrested in Kuwadzana after a high-speed chase with the police and implicated the trio. He lured the trio through a phone call, confirming plans for a second robbery in Mufakose while he was in the presence of police detectives.

Munyuki then led the police to Current Shopping Centre in Budiriro where the three were arrested.

In their application, the trio argued the prosecution had no compelling reasons justifying their continued incarceration as they were of a fixed abode and have no travel documents.

It was further argued that they were not likely to commit further crimes or interfere with witnesses as they were arrested while going about their business.

They proposed tough bail conditions to secure them for trial.

But the investigator in the case opposed bail saying the evidence against the trio was overwhelming. The court also heard that the suspects attempted to flee and were only arrested with difficulty.

This, taken together with the gravity of the crime and the likelihood of a long custodial sentence upon conviction, raised a reasonable apprehension that the three were likely to abscond if released on bail.
(The Herald)