By Leonard Ncube
Three men allegedly held a knife to a two-year-old baby’s throat while pointing a gun at her mother to force the woman to give them her PIN code to her bank card after robbing her in Victoria Falls.
The trio got away with $50, a Samsung phone and the bank card which they used to buy cigarettes worth $370, police confirmed.
The Chronicle spoke to a shell shocked Ms Lukia Tshuma (23) of Mkhosana suburb on Monday.
She narrated her hair raising experience which occurred last Wednesday morning.
Ms Tshuma said two of the robbers remained guarding her at a storm drain behind Landela Complex in the Central Business District while one of them rushed to a nearby shop to check if the PIN code she had given them was correct.
The dramatic attack lasted for about 45 minutes and Ms Tshuma said she is puzzled how passers-by failed to notice that she was under duress.
She said she was scared to scream.
“We were coming from the bank and used the road near Mama Africa restaurant behind Landela Complex. A man was approaching from the opposite direction while another was following behind but I didn’t suspect anything because it’s a busy road. I suspect they were using juju which is why no one noticed,” said a seemingly shaken Ms Tshuma.
She said her attackers ordered her to unstrap her baby from her back.
“The one who was going the opposite direction greeted me and as I responded the other one ordered me to put down my baby and give them money or else they would kill me. I complied because I had seen the gun,” she said.
Ms Tshuma said she told them that she had no money but one of them snatched her handbag and took away the $50 she had just withdrawn from the bank and a cellphone handset.
“They also took the bank card and asked for the PIN. One of them took the card and rushed to give a third guy who was standing some metres away. I think the third robber rushed to a nearby shop because a few moments later he phoned telling the other two that the PIN I had given them was wrong.
“At that moment they had ordered me to sit on the edge of a storm drain with my back to the road such that I think anyone who passed by thought that we were just relaxing yet a gun was pointed at me.
“One of them grabbed my daughter by the throat and choked her while also placing a knife on her as they demanded the PIN. The baby cried loudly and I panicked thinking they would kill her and I gave them the correct PIN,” she said.
Ms Tshuma said the two men ordered her to close her eyes as they ran towards the industrial site after their accomplice had confirmed to them that the PIN was correct.
She said she rushed to the bank about 500 metres away but was a little late as the robbers had already swiped for $370 at OK Mart.
“The bank quickly blocked the card but I think it was too late because in the evening we got another text message showing $200 more had been swiped. I think the message delayed coming on the phone because of network problems,” Ms Tshuma said.
Ms Tshuma and her husband Mr Willard Mpala proceeded to the police to make a report.
At OK Mart, footage from the CCTV showed that the three men bought cartons of cigarettes worth $370.
Ms Tshuma said she is now afraid to leave her home because she is traumatised.
Police spokesperson for Matabeleland North province Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese said: “We received a report about the issue and investigations are underway.” The Chronicle