By Temba Dube
BULAWAYO – Five armed robbers raided Bulawayo businessman, Omega Sibanda’s offices in Bulawayo and stole property worth $25,000 while four others struck at a Bakers Inn outlet and got away with $1. Both armed robberies occurred in the early hours of yesterday.
At Sibanda’s office a guard was left nursing painful ribs and loose teeth in the brutal attack that occurred at around 1AM. Sibanda told Chronicle the robbers who pounced at his office were armed with bricks and sticks and are still at large. He said he was still compiling a full list of missing things from the office.
“So far the list of missing things include about 1,000 T-shirts, two sets of soccer kits comprising 36 pairs of shorts, socks and jerseys, two Samsung S4 cellphones, five big bags containing clothes, a Dell desktop computer, a laptop, laser printer, two sets of steel pots, six suits that were supposed to go for dry cleaning and about 5kg of meat that was in a freezer,” said Sibanda.
The security guard, Charles Mavingire, 29, said a man barged into his room situated outside the office soon after midnight. He said the man fled when he confronted him. “About 40 minutes later, the man came back with four others who were armed with bricks and sticks.
As the security guard, my door is never locked. They came in, took my belt and tore it into strips which they used with pieces of rope to hogtie me.
“They then took turns to beat me up demanding keys to the office. They also wanted to know where money is kept. They did not believe me and went on beating me when I told them I did not have the keys,” said Mavingire.
He said the men eventually left him tied up and cut through a burglar bar to gain entry into the office. They smashed locked doors inside the office and looted the premises. The gang then took their loot, loaded it into a waiting vehicle and fled.
When Chronicle visited the office, detectives were carrying out investigations.
In the other incident, a source at Bakers Inn said robbers who were armed with a knife used a grinder to cut through the roof. The source said an alarm went off when the robbers were inside the building and a security guard rushed to the scene.
One of the robbers at the Bakers Inn outlet along Plumtree Road in Belmont was apprehended on the spot, but his colleagues escaped with the dollar.
“The robbers probably thought they were surrounded because they panicked when they saw the guard. They had grabbed $1 from one of the offices. Three of them managed to get out of the building and flee with a knife that we think they wanted to used to stab anyone who tried to stop them,” said the source.
The security guard was reportedly able to subdue the remaining robber, who was then taken to Donnington Police Station.
The Bakers Inn outlet’s finance manager Precious Mpofu referred questions to the company’s spokesperson Marcus Athitakis in Harare. Athitakis was said to be in a meeting the entire day.
Acting Bulawayo police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Abednico Ncube could also not be reached for comment. Chronicle