Police gun down suspect involved in US$720 000 Quest Finance armed robbery

By Staff Reporter

Police have shot and killed one Blessing Sumbani Sithole (49), named as a suspect involved in the February 25 armed robbery incident in which over US$720 000 was snatched at midnight from Quest Financial Services in Belgravia, Harare.

More than half-a-dozen suspects have been arrested including private security guards and police officers who helped themselves to some of the recovered cash.

In a statement, police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed Sithole was shot dead on April 4 when he got involved in a shootout with police officers.

He had been taken for “indications” on the banks of Manyame River where he allegedly told officers he had hidden a gun.


Sithole had been arrested on the same day in Chiredzi and was detained at Harare Central Police Station.

“The suspect led detectives to Manyame River in Southlea Park where he claimed to have hidden a 7.65mm CZ pistol which was stolen at Quest Financial Services during the heist.

“Upon arrival at the scene, the suspect picked a pistol from a shrub and cocked it before aiming at detectives who were escorting him.

“Subsequently, the suspect was shot on the back and was rushed to Sally Mugabe Hospital where he died upon admission,” Nyathi said.

Sithole’s death adds to the number of armed robbery suspects who have mysteriously died in police custody with claims of their involvement in shootouts.

Most of the suspects shot dead are persons who would be handcuffed while being accompanied by police detectives.

There has been no attempt by independent groups to establish how handcuffed persons find themselves exchanging gunfire with police officers.

Nyathi, in a statement on Sunday, maintained that “police fully subscribe to human rights tenets.”

“Suspects involved in criminal acts are implored to duly comply with police orders and avoid clashes or confrontation with arresting details,” he said.

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