Two nephews of President Emmerson Mnangagwa appeared in court on Saturday charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and possession of illegal firearms.
Tawanda Munangagwa, 36, a squadron leader in the Air Force of Zimbabwe at Manyame, and Vengai Munangagwa, 45, who is alleged to be a Central Intelligence Organisation spy, were not asked to plead during a brief appearance before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi.
Mangosi remanded the duo in custody to April 29 after advising them to apply for bail at the High Court.
George Manokore, for the prosecution, told the court that police got information that the two brothers were planning to commit armed robbery at 5 Overlaw Farm in Kadoma.
On April 14, police detectives got on the tail of the two men as they drove in a white Nissan Hardbody along Samora Machel Avenue. When they noticed they were being followed, Vengai allegedly drove at high speed on the Bulawayo highway leading to a high-speed chase.
They were arrested at a roadblock in Norton and a search of the vehicle turned up an AK47 rifle loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition. Police also recovered a Tokarev pistol during a search of Tawanda’s home at 21 Retreat Farm in Waterfalls on April 15. He allegedly told police the gun which was hidden between a mattress and base of a bed belonged to Vengai.
Prosecutors say both men are not firearm licence holders.
Vengai and Tawanda are the sons of one of President Mnangagwa’s brothers. The “u” in their surname is a common misspelling of their family name by officials at the Civil Registry.
The Zimbabwe National Army – responding to a surge in armed robberies committed by soldiers – has publicly warned that those found guilty will receive “exemplary sentences.”