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Quest Guards Steal USD53,000

“Mahobhos” Plead Guilty to Theft Amidst Major Heist at Quest Financial Services

By Farai D Hove | Two security guards, Cornelius Muchikange (35) and Nesbert Kachungwe (35), of J and P Security Company, confessed to the theft of US$53,000 during a robbery at Quest Financial Services in Belgravia, Harare. The heist, which occurred on February 25, saw robbers making off with US$720,000. Muchikange and Kachungwe, dubbed “mahobhos” for their roles as guards, appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs. Ethel Chichera, admitting to their part in the opportunistic crime. They are slated for sentencing today.

The duo, part of the response team during the robbery, capitalized on the chaos, seizing US$53,000 dropped by the fleeing culprits. Their haul was a fraction of the total stolen by a 12-man gang, armed and dangerous, who had earlier tied up Daniel Mandizvidza, the 54-year-old head of operations at Quest Financial Services, before blasting their way into the safe.

In the aftermath of their windfall, Muchikange and Kachungwe wasted no time in spending their ill-gotten gains. Muchikange splurged on a Nissan Sylphy sedan and a residential stand in Eastview, Harare, even covering the cost of lobola to his in-laws, while Kachungwe opted for a Nissan AD van and construction materials.

The robbery unfolded in the early hours, with the armed gang employing explosives to access the cash. Their exit was hastened by the arrival of reaction teams from Safeguard Security Company and J and P Security Service, leading to a hasty departure that saw them leave behind tools, laptops, and a trail of cash.

The apprehension of Muchikange and Kachungwe on March 8 followed a tip-off to CID Homicide Harare detectives. However, before their arrest, they too fell victim to crime. Posing as police officers, six men confiscated the remainder of Muchikange’s share and a significant portion of Kachungwe’s, further reducing the recovered amount to US$15,700.

This case has highlighted not only the boldness of criminal enterprises targeting financial institutions but also the vulnerability and, in this instance, the opportunism within security ranks tasked with protecting these entities. As the legal proceedings against the “mahobhos” move forward, attention also turns to the broader issue of ensuring the integrity and accountability of those employed to safeguard against such audacious thefts.

Prosecution led by Mr. Zebediah Bofu underscores the seriousness with which authorities are treating the breach, reflecting a determined effort to bring all parties involved to justice. The community now awaits the sentencing, hoping for a resolution that not only punishes the guilty but also deters future collusion in criminal acts among those trusted to protect.

ZimEye

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