Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
The Zimbabwe Republic Police have arrested nine suspects in connection with the unlawful possession of National Railways of Zimbabwe wagon wheels and couplers after they were allegedly caught loading them in a truck on May Day.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident saying it occurred early morning on May 1 at the NRZ marshalling yard in Harare.
The nine suspects have been identified as Paul Viyano (31), Tafadzwa Mudhara (18), Moses Nyoni (20), Mind Mudzimba (23), Amos Taderera (18), Simbarashe Tizora (18), Privilege Mabhiza (18), Ishmael Chitupa (22) and Ronny Mutsvunguma (18)
“At the time of arrest, the suspects had already loaded 13 wagon wheels and a coupler into a Volvo lorry which they were using. Police conducted searches on the suspects and recovered a Taurus pistol, four Motorola hand-held radios, two Motorola pin chargers and two Motorola batteries. The property was stashed in one of the suspects’ car which was found at the scene. A 303 rifle was also recovered at the same suspect’s house under his bed,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
He said the suspects would also face charges of contravening the Firearms Act (Chapter 10:09) arising from illegal possession of firearms and failure to properly secure them as required by the law.
Asst Comm Nyathi said investigations were continuing and the suspects would appear in court soon.
“The police would like to warn members of the public against tempering with NRZ equipment or installations as it is a very serious offence,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
The NRZ has in the past expressed concern on the increase in cases of vandalism and destruction of its points machines which is disrupting train movement and could result in derailments.
Points machines are used to direct trains from one track to another at stations, sidings and transit yards.