By Nqobile Tshili
A Bulawayo woman bravely fought three armed robbers, disarmed them of a gun but they later regrouped and overpowered her, getting away with $3 000 and R8 000.
When the dust settled, the woman realised the trio had threatened her using a toy gun.
The thugs – who are still at large – attacked Ms Ruth Mpambela, a suspected illegal money changer at her Nkulumane 12 suburb house at about 6:45PM on Sunday as she entered her yard.
In an interview yesterday, Ms Mpambela said the robbers pounced on her while she was driving into her yard in her Nissan Tiida vehicle.
She said the maternal instinct forced her to fight like a possessed person because she thought they wanted to steal her car and her seven-year-old child who was in the back seat.
“It happened at about 6:45PM. I was driving into my home. As I approached my house I phoned my kids to open the gate for me. But I found the gate half opened and the children were saying it was failing to open completely. I gave one of them my phone to check whether there was a problem with its alignment.
As I did so my seven-year-old jumped into the vehicle,” she said. “As my child was opening the car a white VW Golf passed my house and it made a u-turn about four houses away from mine and came and stopped behind my vehicle. Before I knew what was happening one of the occupants came to the driver’s side. I partially opened the window to hear what he wanted to say. He however produced a gun and pointed it at me, demanding cash.”
Ms Mpambela said she managed to wrestle the man who was wielding the gun resulting in it falling into the vehicle.
She said the other two robbers joined in and hit her on the head with a sharp object before stealing cash and her vehicle’s registration book.
Ms Mpambela said she was left with gushes on the face.
“I was afraid but knowing that my child was also in the car it gave me strength to fight the robbers. That’s why I wrestled the one who had a gun pointed at me. After the gun fell into the car the other two hit me with a sharp object on the head and face before taking away US$1 000, $2 000 bond notes and R8 000,” said Ms Mpambela.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango said law enforcement agents were investigating the case.
Chief Insp Simango said when the police initiated their investigations they discovered that the robbers were using a fake pistol.
She warned illegal money changers that they are increasingly becoming targets for criminals.
“It’s not surprising that most illegal money changers have become targets for robbers as they are the only people known to be having money. However, this does not mean we are justifying criminal activities. We are investigating the case and we want to issue a stern warning to robbers that their days are numbered,” she said.
Chief Insp Simango appealed to residents who might have information leading to the arrest of the suspects to come forward. The Chronicle