Three men in police uniforms staged a fake roadblock near the home to the most protected man in Zimbabwe.
The daring bogus cops who mounted a roadblock at State House and ordered a delivery driver onto the property to induce fear before robbing him were Monday convicted by a Harare magistrate.
Martin Ndoorwi, 27, Innocent Pamire, 32, and Joel Paradzayi, 30, appeared before magistrate Elijah Makomo.
They were charged with impersonating police officers, extortion and kidnapping as well as attempted robbery.
Ndoorwi was convicted for impersonation and attempted robbery but acquitted on kidnapping and extortion as no evidence was led on those two counts.
His accomplices were convicted of impersonation and kidnapping after Makomo said there was overwhelming evidence against the duo who were denying the charges.
Makomo described Ndoorwi’s arrest as spectacular.
“The evidence of witnesses corroborates,” said the magistrate.
“The first witness told court that it was a spectacular event for him to see a police officer in uniform being chased by the members of the public along Sandringham Road near National Parks headquarters.
“This spectacular event prompted him to stop his vehicle and retrieve his gun which he then pointed at the first accused who then surrendered before he was arrested by an officer who was manning a nearby embassy.”
Initially, Ndoorwi denied all charges but later pleaded guilty to impersonation. Court head he implicated his co-accused while the third accomplice, Khadir Amin, is still on the run.
The incident occurred on January 24 this year when driver Milton Shumba and wife Elizabeth Tshuma were delivering the Patriot newspaper in the capital around 9am using a Ford truck.
Court heard that when Shumba passed St George’s traffic lights along Borrowdale Road, Ndoorwi and his accomplices blocked the way with their Toyota Chaser vehicle, forcing the truck to stop.
Ndoorwi and another suspect then approached Shumba accusing him of driving past a red traffic light.
Court heard Ndoorwi was wearing a police uniform. He then ordered the wife to get into their vehicle before he and the other suspect got into Shumba’s truck and ordered the latter to drive back to State House.
When they arrived at the entrance, court heard Ndoorwi ordered Shumba to drive past, claiming they wanted to use the back entrance.
Ndoorwi then demanded to drive the vehicle but Shumba, who was now suspicious, refused.
The bogus cop wrestled Shumba, intending to take control of the vehicle which resulted in the latter losing control and the truck hitting the pavement.
After the accident, Ndoorwi and his accomplice disembarked and started running away.
Meanwhile, upon realising that Shumba’s vehicle had been involved in an accident, the other accomplices who were in the Toyota chaser drove away with Shumba’s wife and dropped her off in Mt Pleasant.
Ndoorwi was apprehended by members of the public after which he implicated his accomplices.
Aftter their arrest, the duo was also found in possession of police uniforms and handcuffs as well as a work identity card for one Constable Zondo who had since reported losing the document.
Prosecutor Rudo Chasi appeared for the state.