THREE Harare men appeared in court at the weekend on nine counts of armed robbery.
Elvis Mugoni, Patrick Mafaka, also known as James Maricho, and Lovemore Mbesa appeared before magistrate Stanford Mambanje, who remanded them in custody.
The court heard that on July 10, the trio robbed night travellers, Persuade Chikwanha, Catherine Miti, Lorraine Magona Zvidzai and Ronah Mondo, who were looking for transport to Bindura and Chiweshe.
The three, who were driving a white Honda CRV, stopped along Sam Nujoma Street in the Avenues where the travellers were and offered them transport.
Along the way, the trio produced a machete and knives, and demanded valuables from the passengers.
The passengers surrendered their valuables, which included cellphones and money amounting to US$160, as well as a C2 pistol issued to Chikwanha, a cop who was among the victims.
The robbers disarmed Chikwanha when he attempted to shoot them.
After disarming him, they tied his hands with a rope and started assaulting him.
They dropped three female passengers close to Zambezi flats in Mabelreign and drove with Chikwanha, who they later dumped in Hatfield with his hands still tied after heavily assaulting him.
On August 8 they teamed up again and picked up three passengers intending to go to Chinhoyi.
When they got to Mt Hampden they produced a pistol and knives and demanded the passengers’ belongings.
They took 20kgs of Mariana rice, 5kgs fresh bream fish, 10 pairs of brand new sneakers, five handbags and cellphones before dumping them.
They went on to commit seven more robberies using the same modus operandi.
They were arrested after being found in possession of the pistol they had stolen from the cop in the first robbery.