Zvikomborero Parafini, Court Reporter
THE notorious gang leader Musa Taj Abdul who had been on the run for over 20 years, Musa Taj Abdul, was left to be a self-actor in court after his lawyers didn’t to turn up for routine remand in court on Thursday.
Abdul appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Mateko together with his accomplices Charles Lundu (47), Rudolf Kanhanga alias Tapiwa Munatsi (29), Tapiwa Mangoma alias Tapa (27), Innocent Jairosi (32), Prince Makodza (31), Liberty Mupamhanga (29) and Godfrey Mupamhanga (27).
Abdul, who on his initial appearance was represented by Ashley Mugiya, was a self-actor yesterday and told the court that he had not seen or heard from his lawyer ever since he appeared in court.
“We haven’t heard anything from our lawyers since we left court, we don’t know what’s happening; we are being deprived of a lot of things at Chikurubi,” he said.
State prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokoti asked him to clarify whether prison officials were denying him access to his lawyers or they just hadn’t come and he confirmed that they hadn’t come.
Magistrate Mateko then asked Lundu’s lawyer who was present to call Mugiya so that he could come to court and renounce agency officially so that the court can come up with a way forward.
The gang is suspected to have committed most of its robberies in the capital.
One of the many complainants is Vivek Solanki, the owner of the Trauma Centre in Borrowdale, Harare where the gang stole over U$3 000 at the medical facility.
Other allegations are that on July 24 this year, the accused people who were in the company of other accomplices still at large, hatched a plan to rob Lyle Leonard Wilsons and went to 4 Longford Street in Queensdale Harare, driving in separate vehicles where upon arrival, they removed some precast wall panels to gain entry.
“Whilst inside the premises, the accused who were putting on face masks and armed with a shotgun and a pistol forced open the lounge door with an iron bar and gained entry,” reads court papers.
“They confronted the complainant Lyle Leonard Wilson’s brother-in-law who was seated in the lounge.
“He shouted for help and fled towards the kitchen intending to escape through the back door where he bumped into one of the accused persons who was standing outside the house.
“They manhandled him tied his hands from behind with shoelaces. The accused persons went on to confront the complainant who had locked himself in the bedroom from inside together with his wife and children.
The court record continues; “They forced open the door with an iron bar and confronted the complainant and his wife before ordering them to lie down on the floor while covering the complainant’s wife with a blanket.”
Wilson was assaulted as the robbers demanded cash and valuables from him while they were also ransacking the bedroom.
“They stole US$1 473 from the complainant’s wife handbag and five cellphones, handbags, eyeglasses, power banks, face masks and valuables.
“On the other charge, the accused persons also robbed other companies, stealing valuable goods while holding arms. The amount value of goods stolen is US$7 516 and $3 565 on both counts respectively.”
They were remanded to appear in court on September 24.