THE ring-leader in the fatal shootout between police and a group of armed robbers last Saturday morning is a former security aide to Dydmus Mutasa, minister of presidential affairs.
Security sources on Wednesday said the ring leader was a Central Intelligence Organization (CIO) operative who was assigned to Mutasa for the greater part of 2008.
He is one of two arrested during the shoot –out along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare around 2 am.
Detective Sergeant Joseph Maximus (29) was shot in the abdomen and chest in the process.
The third suspect, John Jeremin, also known as John Katsande, of 1016 Mabvazuva in Rusape, escaped. He was already on the police most wanted list and is considered armed and dangerous.
Police have since arrested two of the robbers and recovered US$59 000 and R4 000 believed to be part of the money looted after the Nyanga heist.
The information came to light after a crack team from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) from Harare interrogated the father of the operative at his rural home at St Faith, Rusape.
Sources said during the interrogation the CID team recovered a gun which was then linked to the robbers’ ring – leader.
“His father told the investigating officers that the gun belonged to him and that he was indeed one of the robbers involved in the Nyanga heist,” said a security source.
The sources said the CIO operative moved around with Mutasa during the 2008 harmonized elections and the bloody presidential run- off.
There was widespread violence in Headlands even during the harmonised elections which were relatively peaceful throughout the country.
“The guy has always been violent,” said another source. “He always thought he was above the law especially the days he was with Dydmus Mutasa.”
The robbers struck the bank last Thursday, making off with US$116 000 and R14 000 after they sprayed ZB Bank tellers with an unidentified substance in the eyes before raiding their cubicles.