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CIO boss loses service AK47 rifle during a house break-in



WHILE the majority of Zimbabweans are scared of the dreaded Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) due to its brutality and notorious reputation for unmitigated terror, others are not.


 The CIO’s Beitbridge boss Phillip Wutaunashe lost his AK47 service rifle loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition during a break-in into his house by daring thieves who took advantage of his absence to storm the house to steal his main weapon.

 This came as another CIO spy agent who was staying in a cottage at the same house had his fancy mobile phone stolen on the same day, The NewsHawks established. Police sources said the rare break-in which took place in September last year in the border town happened when Wutaunashe had travelled to Harare, leaving some female companions at his home.

 His colleague, Albert Mtandwa, who is also a CIO operative, was not at home as he had gone for traffic and security operations at a roadblock along the Masvingo-Beitbridge highway.

Last year’s brazen theft of the AK47 preceded last week’s incident in which a  man was shot dead during a break-in at the Harare home of CIO co-Deputy Director-General Gatsha Mazithulela on Crichton Road in the Groombridge area of Mount Pleasant.

Also last week, a CIO training centre in Harare was gutted by fire in what insiders described as a case of arson ahead of next year’s crunch watershed elections. Other sources say the attack was calculated and motivated by inter-security agency rivalries.

The training centre is located in Msasa Park suburb along Homestead Road across Chiremba Road. St Patrick’s Road in Hatfield suburb is to the right when facing Msasa Homestead from town. The busy Chiremba Road connects to Epworth from Harare’s central business district. The police report sheds insight into Wutaunashe’s loss of the AK47.

 “On the 9th day of September 2021 at around 2000 hours a report of unlawful entry and theft of a firearm was received from the informant Luke Seke, aged 34 of house number 1 PWD, Beitbridge; business address President’s Office, Beitbridge. He reported that his officer-in-charge’s service AK47 rifle serial number 960171 with a magazine loaded with 30 live rounds was stolen from his officer-in-charge’s house,” a police source said.

The NewsHawks learnt circumstances are that on 31 August 2021, Wutaunashe (48) who at that time was residing at 193 Bennie Knot Drive, Beitbridge, left his house with the main bedroom windows closed, main bedroom door locked and inbuilt fitted wooden wardrobe doors closed but not locked, leaving his service firearm AK47 (serial number 960171) with a magazine loaded with 30 live rounds and went to Harare for other state security duties.

He left in his room two female CIO members who were on an operation in the border area as he went to Harare, although it is not known when the operatives left his house.

“On a date an unknown accused (person) went to his (Wutaunashe) house where he forcibly used an unknown object to break a locked door and gained entry into the complainant’s main bedroom door and stole a service AK47 rifle loaded with a magazine of 30 live rounds and went away unnoticed,” the police source said.

 On 7 September 2021 at about 5pm Mtandwa, who originally resides at BC 814 Vhengere in Rusape, left his cottage at Wutaunashe’s house intact and went on roadblock duty along Masvingo-Beitbridge Road.

 It is understood that the following day at about 2pm, while he was still on duty at the roadblock, Mtandwa phoned his workmate Zachariah Manatsa requesting him to bring his cellphone – a Samsung Galaxy – which he had left in the cottage going to the roadblock site.

 On the same day, Manatsa went to the cottage at Wutaunashe’s house where Mtandwa was staying and found the door wide open before discovering that an unknown person had used an object to force the door open to gain entry into the house.

Manatsa discovered Mtandwa’s Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge mobile phone (IMEI number 355506072327882), had been stolen. He advised him on that.

 On 9 September 2021 at about 6pm Mtandwa left the roadblock and proceeded to his house where he discovered that an unknown person had also broken into Wutaunashe’s main bedroom. He immediately advised the CIO boss who then tasked him to go and check whether his service rifle was not stolen from his fitted wooden wardrobe.

 Mtandwa went to the house and discovered the gun theft before reporting the matter to the police. The scene was attended by ZRP Beitbridge urban and no suspect or arrest was made.

“Certain marks were observed at complainant one’s main bedroom door indicating that a metal object like iron bar was used. Dusty cover of the stolen AK47 rifle was recovered on the floor inside the main bedroom. It was discovered that complainant one’s main door and dining door were malfunctional,” the source said.

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