Two suspected armed robbers were killed in a shootout with detectives in Harare on Tuesday, including a South African national, police said.

Four other men, three of them South African and one Zimbabwean, were arrested and face charges of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and possession of firearms.

Jabulani Ngobeni, 45, of Tzannen in Limpopo was shot dead after firing at detectives at a guest house in Harare while Godknows Machingura, 44, was shot dead while fleeing from police.

The arrested suspects have been named as Andrew Masubelele, 38, of Atteridgeville in Pretoria; Ndiafhi Makhado, 39, of Thsakhuma in Limpopo; Emmanuel Makamo, 22, of Alberton in Johannesburg and Paul Zhou, 55, of Waterfalls in Harare.

The gang allegedly had a plan to rob a Chinese national with business operations in Kwekwe by ambushing his vehicle as he drove to Harare.

Detectives were put on the tail of the gang after learning that some of the suspects had entered the country through Beitbridge border post, driving in a Ford Ranger with registration number JG-04 GH GP.

Investigators tracked them to a guest house on Mauritius Road in Arcadia, Harare. On seeing the detectives, Ngobeni allegedly opened fire with his 9mm Star Pistol but was shot and disarmed.

Police arrested him, Makhado, Masubelele, Makamo and Zhou who told investigators that his role had been to secure accommodation and hire vehicles for the gang – a Toyota Fortuner and a Honda Fit.

Interviews with the suspects led police to Shamva where Machingura was allegedly monitoring the movements of the Chinese man who works on Birmingham Road in Kwekwe.

With the help of the suspects, police lured Machingura to Morgan High School in Arcadia. Upon seeing detectives, he allegedly drove off at high speed leading to a chase during which he was shot in the groin and disarmed of a 9mm Taurus Pistol. He was declared dead upon arrival at Parirenyatwa Hospital.

National police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi says they are concerned by the growing number of foreign nationals committing armed robberies in the country.

“The police is concerned with the involvement of foreign nationals in some of the robberies. A case in point is the recent Kadoma-Chegutu shootout and the Victoria Falls incident where some foreign nationals ran away after a shooting incident,” Nyathi said.

“The police assures the public that it will account for all criminals and ensure the law takes its course. Any form of confrontation with the police will be met with an appropriate response.”