Three of the gang members were shot and seriously injured by detectives from the Criminal Investigation Department when they resisted arrest in Epworth on Sunday.

The gang, which ransacked the minister’s Mt Pleasant home and assaulted her husband Dr Christopher Mushonga, a family friend and a policeman on guard duty at the residence, got away with a top-of-the-range Toyota Prado, seven cellphones and US$156 in cash.

Police sources say the suspects were in possession of some of the stolen phones at the time of the arrest.They are believed to have also committed several armed robberies in and around Harare.

Makaika Milanzi (33), Assan Chikwada (29) and Tichaona Soda (31) were shot when they resisted arrest and are now receiving treatment under police guard at Parirenyatwa and Harare Central hospitals.

The other four — Antony Khumbula (31), Steven Zvinoseva (26), Tendai Jongwe (38) and Crispen Sibanda (50) — are already in custody and assisting police with investigations

Jongwe was arrested in Mbare while the rest were picked up in Epworth.Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday confirmed the arrests.

"We have arrested the gang in connection with a spate of armed robberies committed in and around Harare.

"One of the robberies occurred at Minister Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s home on June 18," he said.

During the robbery at the minister’s home, the gang demanded cash, even climbing into the ceiling in search of valuables.

Dr Mushonga and the policeman sustained serious head injuries during the violent attack.

In addition to the cellphones, police have also recovered three pistols and an AK-47 rifle stolen from the police guard.

The Prado was recovered in Waterfalls a day after the robbery.

Snr Asst Comm Bvudzijena said the robbers had also been linked to a spate of robberies committed in Mandara, Hatfield, Highlands, as well as a murder case in the Mazowe area.

Investigations so far have linked them with the shooting to death last Monday of a farmer on his way to Bindura from Harare.

The farmer, Ossy Bonga (33), was a passenger in a T-35 vehicle driven by Mr Ali Mobwana (28). The two had just sold their tobacco at the auction floors, but were yet to receive payment.

A few days later, they raided a house in Mandara where they got away with a Hyundai vehicle and a cellphone.

"The gang committed a series of armed robberies between June and July and we are appealing to anyone who believes they could have been robbed by the gang that usually used an AK-47 rifle and a revolver to contact the police," said Snr Asst Comm Bvudzijena.

People can contact Harare CID Homicide on 04-790897 or 04-752002 or report to their nearest police station.

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