By Freedom Mupanedemo
Police in Mvuma have launched a manhunt for a gang of three machete attackers who waylaid and chopped to death a local miner before stealing US$700 cash and a cellphone.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday confirmed the machete attack which occurred on New Year’s Day, as the victim, Mr Marko Dube, was on his way to his mine in Mvuma.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the matter was being treated as a case of robbery and had nothing to do with the machete wars currently circulating on social media.
He said Mr Dube, who operated a gold mill at Mek Syndicate Mine, received a call on New Year’s Day that there were some clients who wanted to process gold.
“While on his way to the mine, Mr Dube was attacked by three unknown people who were using machetes and knobkerries,” said Asst Comm Nyathi. “They then searched and robbed him of US$700 and a cellphone.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said a passer-by who heard Mr Dube screaming for help later went to the scene to investigate.
“He found Mr Dube lying in a pool of blood and reported the case at Mvuma Police Station,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
Meanwhile, Asst Comm Nyathi said police in Shurugwi yesterday acted on a tip-off and arrested two members of a notorious gang that had wreaked havoc in the town, attacking people with machetes and knobkerries before robbing them.
He said police managed to recover some of the weapons used, as well as some stolen property.
“The two suspects who were arrested in connection with a spate of robberies in and around Shurugwi were Edson Siyaliki Nyathi (24) and Kudakwashe Ndlela (19),” he said.
“A third suspect managed to flee and is still at large, but police also recovered machetes and knives which were used in committing the crimes. There were some clothes which were also recovered.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said the suspects were targeting mines, fuel stations and individuals.
“On December 1, 2019, they went to Bonsa Mine and attacked the mine owner and got away with US$487,” he said. “They also attacked another victim on December 5, 2019 and got away with US$500.
“On the same day, they pounced on Mount Dawn Farm and went away with US$700 and cellphones.”
Asst Comm Nyathi said the trio also hit on Besta Mine on December 26, 2019 and went away with $78 and some cellphones.
“Information gathered is that these robbers had prior information that there was money before attacking their victims,” he said. “As the police, we urge people to bank their money.”
Meanwhile, four suspected armed robbers who were part of a gang that raided a businessman’s house in Filabusi and went away with US$20 660 cash, 72 300 rand and $1 100, eight cellphones, a laptop and various groceries have been arrested after police declared war on armed robbers, writes our Crime Reporter.
Asst Comm Nyathi confirmed the arrests and warned people against keeping large amounts of money at home.
“Sindiso Moyo (30), Chargeman Ndlovu (25), Tinomutenda Msipa (37), Phillip Ngwenya (20) and Nomalanga Mahlangu (19) were arrested on December 29, 2019 in Filabusi.
“The quintet are part of a gang of armed robbers who were robbing people in Filabusi area and along the Bulawayo- Gwanda Road.
“They were arrested after they broke into a local businessman’s house and robbed him of US$20 660, 72 300 rand and $1 100 cash, eight cellphones, laptop and various groceries at gunpoint,” he said.
A Toyota Vitz, three new blankets and various groceries have since been recovered
Their arrests come after police recently recovered two Chubb safes containing US$30 500, R20 500 and over $150 000 after they arrested two suspects who were part of a seven-member gang that recently raided a company in Msasa, Harare.
The gang raided the company on December 20 and also got away with cellphones belonging to the company employees and customers who were on the premises. They loaded the safes and other property into an Isuzu KB240 truck belonging to one of the customers.
Meanwhile, a 22-year-old woman was raped after she boarded a pirate taxi (a black Honda Fit) in Bulawayo on New Year’s Eve.
Asst Comm Nyathi said along the way to Pelandaba, the suspect requested for sexual favours but was turned down.
“On reaching a bushy area near Sizane turn-off, the accused produced a knife and raped the complainant. Members of the public are warned against boarding pirate taxis as they risk being raped or robbed,” he said.
Two men were also arrested in Bulawayo on the same day after being linked to a spate of robbery cases in which they were robbing people of their valuables at knifepoint in the CBD using a red commuter omni- bus.
Another suspect, aged 36, was arrested in Bulawayo after members of the public alerted police that he was selling a plasma TV believed to have been stolen.
Police managed to recover Compaq and Lenovo laptops, Open view decoder, various cellphones and a cream baby blanket, all which had been stolen.
Asst Comm Nyathi warned members of the public against buying goods without verifying their origins. The Herald