FOUR suspected rifle-wielding armed robbers appeared in court facing accusations of stealing diamond ore in Chiadzwa where Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) is operating.
Foaster Mukwada, Amato Zivanai, Munyaradzi Charakupa and Brian Marungamise appeared before Mutare magistrate Mr Lazarus Murendo charged with 10 counts of robbery.
They denied the charges when they initially appeared in court before being remanded in custody to April 17 for trial.
Prosecuting, Mr Brighton Shamuyarira, alleged that on March 24 last year at around 3am, Mukwada and Zivanai armed themselves with AK47 rifles.
They then called about 100 illegal miners and went into ZCDC mining concessions.
Reports are that they cocked their rifles and ordered security guards to lie down before tying them up.
Further allegations were that they, along with the illegal miners, stoned policemen who were at the gate.
It is said that they stashed diamond ore into sacks and vanished.
Mukwada was in possession of US$1 320 which he intended to pay the illegal miners.
Mr Shamuyarira said on April 4 this year, the quartet connived and hatched a plan to rob ZCDC of diamond ore again.
In pursuit of their plan, they proceeded to the mining concessions with their vehicles along with some illegal diamond miners.
Police detectives who were on patrol received information and swiftly reacted, leading to their arrest.
In a separate, but related matter, a general worker at Lead Mine, Patrick Nkoma, appeared in court after he allegedly stole 10kg of gold ore from his employer.
Nkoma denied the charges when he appeared before Mr Murendo who remanded him to April 17 on $100 bail.