Esinathy Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
A commando in the Zimbabwe National Army heroically dodged a bullet before disarming and manhandling an armed robbery suspect who, alongside two accomplices, had broken into his home in Magwegwe North suburb of Bulawayo.
Nqobile Dube (35)’s partners in crime fled and left him at the mercy of the lone soldier, Mr Douglas Musengi (26), on Saturday at around 3 AM.
Dube fired a bullet point blank at the soldier from a pistol but missed after Mr Musengi (rank not supplied) used his Special Forces training to dodge it.
A mob, roused by the commotion, meted out instant justice on the hapless robbery suspect.
Dube was admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital after residents vented their anger for numerous break-ins in the suburb, on him.
He was discharged yesterday with a plaster on one hand and bandages to cover numerous bruises on his face.
His accomplices got away with Mr Musengi’s 42 inch Samsung television set.
Police yesterday reportedly arrested another suspect identified as Zvinai Nyamandishe while another, Witness Hlongwane, is still at large.
Mr Musengi, who is stationed at Cranborne Barracks in Harare and was in Bulawayo to visit his family, told The Chronicle yesterday that he escaped death by employing skills that he acquired from the special forces training.
“I was awakened by the sound of my bedroom door being opened. I saw a man with a balaclava on his face and a yellow dust cloth covering his mouth,” said the diminutive soldier.
He said Dube realised he was awake and fled.
“I rushed after him in my shorts and woke my younger brother who was sleeping on a sofa in the lounge.
“Dube scaled a perimeter wall into the house next door. I went after him in a flash because the Heliborne Unit specialises in obstacle training. It is then that I saw Dube had company,” Mr Musengi said.
“The other two shouted at Dube to kill me but they fled in a different direction as I closed in.”
He said Dube pulled out a Star Pistol and took aim at him.
“I saw the glint of the gun and realised it was pointed in my direction. A few metres separated us. I feigned to the left and moved right at the last moment.
He fired and missed. Before he could pull the trigger again, I was on him and I wrestled the gun from his hand,” said Mr Musengi.
He said his younger brother, Takaindisa, arrived at the scene and they tied Dube up.
“Residents came out of their houses and I went to call the police. I’m hearing from you that Dube was assaulted. I don’t know who did it,” Mr Musengi said.
“I think those who assaulted Dube were doing it as revenge for their stolen property. These robbers have been a nuisance in the community and I think people were now venting out their frustration on him.
“I thought the gun was loaded with blanks so I was surprised to see it had live rounds when the police arrived.”
A neighbour who asked not to be named said the robbers stole the TV first and Mr Musengi interrupted them when they were returning to the house to steal more property.
“He is a brave man who could have helped to solve numerous break-ins in the area in recent months. Imagine rushing at a gunman like that. It shows the training they undergo at the army barracks is special,” said the neighbour.
Dube and Nyamandishe are expected to appear in court soon. The Chronicle