Armed robbers get away with fortune
By Mthabisi Tshuma/Mkhululi Ncube
Four armed robbers raided a shop in Gwanda and brutally attacked a woman before getting away with R500 000 and US$6 000.
In Bulawayo six armed robbers hit the World Food Programme (WFP) and Econet Warehouse and went away with thousands of dollars in various currencies and a Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle.
Both robberies occurred on Monday.
National Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in Bulawayo, the robbers captured four guards who were manning the premises before disarming a fifth.
“Police are investigating a case of robbery which occurred at WFP Warehouse and Econet Warehouse, Byo on 26 April between midnight and 3 am. Six unknown men armed with two unidentified pistols stormed the premises and captured four guards before disarming the fifth one. They stole US$90 094.00, ZAR153 385.14, P25 724.00, Z$855 174.64, a DVR for the CCTV from a strong room and a Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle,” he said.
In Gwanda, the gang struck at Spitzkop business centre. The incident occurred at around 6.30PM at a shop belonging to prominent gold dealer popularly known in the mining town as Mutengeni.
The injured woman Thokozile Zororo was ferried to Gwanda Provincial Hospital where she is reportedly getting treatment.
The suspects savagely hit the lady while she was trying to reach out to a money paper bag that was mistaken for a weapon.
The robbery comes as cases of armed robberies targeting small scale miners perceived to have large sums of money have become a cause for concern.
When Chronicle visited the crime scene yesterday just before 8AM, the shop was closed.
Neighbouring shop attendants were visibly shaken by the incident as they were not willing to speak to the public.
A close source said the armed robbers were wearing black.
“They were all putting on black caps and masks such that they were not visible for identification. During that period one of them demanded cash from the shopkeeper before firing one gun shot.
“When the shop keeper bent down to collect the cash, she was struck by a gun butt at the back of her head and only regained consciousness at Gwanda Hospital,” said a close source.
The robbers reportedly fired shots into the air to scare away anyone who might have thought to intervene.
“The robbers scared everyone after firing gunshots into the air and left the scene on foot before they vanished into the dark.
“Everyone who was nearby found a place to hide as no one was able to stand up against someone with a gun,” said one of the eye witnesses who refused to be named.
The grocery shop is reportedly being used as a site where buying and selling of gold occurs.
According to a close family source, the lost amount is more than half-a-million rand and is said to be “two million rand in cash and gold.”
In a statement yesterday night, National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the suspects are still at large.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is investigating the circumstances in which a supermarket at Nare Business Centre, Gwanda (CBD) was robbed of USD 6 000 and ZAR 500 000 on 26th April 2021 by four armed suspects who are yet to be identified.
The criminals attacked the complainant Thokozile Zororo who is now recovering at Gwanda Provincial Hospital. More details to follow in due course,” said Asst Comm Nyathi. The Chronicle