By Codelia Mondela
Six men brandishing guns allegedly broke into Sihube Bus Service garage in Thorngrove, Bulawayo where they blew open a safe, stole more than $2 000, a laptop and a pistol.
The robbers allegedly used electric cables and shoe laces to tie up the caretaker Mr Nation Mpofu (40) and bus loaders Sydney Nkomo (45) and Marvellous Moyo (23) who were sleeping in the premises.The trio said it was too dark to identify their assailants.
Mr Collen Mpofu who is Nation’s father and director of Sihube Bus Service said the six, who are alleged to have been carrying two pistols, blasted a safe which contained some company documents and took $2 000 bond notes and US$650 around 2AM on Saturday.
He said they covered his bound up employees with a blanket in the reception area.
Yesterday, Collen was still trying to fix his office, which looked like it had been hit by a storm.
It looked like the locking system had been blown off and papers were strewn all over the room.
An acrid smell of burnt paint and metal still lingered in the air.“I am very sad and pained by what happened because we had saved the money to pay the insurance and fix VID papers for one of our buses that broke down,” he said.
“What puzzles me the most is that we have big guard dogs here, but I heard that the dogs did not bark when robbers came which raises suspicion that the robbers are known to us.”
“The robbers took $2 000 bond notes, US$650, a brand new Lenovo laptop and my pistol which I last used in 2000.
“We thought the safe was protected and we had added an extra key not knowing that the robbers had plans for it,” he said.
Nation said the robbers appeared to be between the ages of 35 and 45 and were smartly dressed. He said they wore caps and helmets and spoke in Shona and English.
“Around 2:30 AM, I heard a loud noise that sounded like a gate being opened. I came out thinking that it was my father coming in like he usually does.
I met a man who pointed a gun at me. He grabbed me by the collar and took me to the reception room where Nkomo and Moyo were already being held hostage.
“Our hands and feet were tied with cables from a fan and drilling machine. The robbers also used our shoe laces to tie us, but never threatened nor assaulted us at any point.
They ordered us to lie facing down and proceeded to my father’s office where there was the money safe.
“I suspect that they used dynamite to blast the safe and took the money. As they were leaving I heard them saying ‘kuri nani’ (not bad).
After about five minutes, I called for help and Mehluli Mpofu who was sleeping in the next room used a knife to cut us loose.”
Mehluli said he heard the explosion as the robbers burst open the safe but he carried on sleeping as he thought it was happening somewhere far away.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango yesterday said she was yet to get details on the case. The Chronicle