By George Maponga
Armed robbers are on the prowl in Masvingo where they have been on a warpath over the past week.
A security guard was left for dead after being shot in the abdomen at Neshuro Growth point in Mwenezi on Monday while a pirate taxi driver is also battling for life after being shot by another unidentified gang in Bikita.
At Neshuro, two unknown suspects shot Lazarus Chuma (age unknown), a security guard at Chingwanga Supermarket, before robbing two shops of a total of R21 000 and US$400.
Chuma was shot on the right side of the lower abdomen by one of the suspects who also got away with three cellphones after ordering their victims to lie on the floor facing down on Monday evening.
He is battling for life at Masvingo General Hospital where his condition is critical.
In Bikita,Lincoln Rukweza of Rukweza village under Chief Mazungunye is nursing two gunshots wounds on the arm and thigh at Silveira Mission Hospital after he was shot with a pistol by a member of a three-man gang that had hired him to the Zvinoitavamwe area near Nyika Growth point from Chikuku business centre.
The suspects bundled Rukweza and his ally Moses Mwale of Tasariremo Village in Mazingunye, into the boot of their vehicle after tying their hands and feet with cables and covered their mouths with pieces of cloth.
In the first incident Masvingo police spokesperson Inspector Kudakwashe Dhewa disclosed that Chuma was guarding Chingwanga Supermarket when the two suspects arrived pretending to be customers.
One of them allegedly shot Chuma in the lower abdomen after he asked for clarity on an order to get inside the supermarket.
The suspects looted the till of R20 000and US$400 cash. They also stole a mobile phone. According to police the suspects went to the next shop at Mai Tina General dealer and fired two warning shots into the air before stealing R1 000 and two cellphones. They then disappeared into the night.
Before this incident at Chingwangwa Supermarket, Rukweza had been approached by three unknown men who asked for transport to solve a domestic dispute in the Zvinoitavamwe area along the Nyika-Birchenough bridge road at around 8pm.
The trio paid US$7 for transport from Chikuku Business Centre where Rukweza was looking for passengers with his pirate taxi, a Toyota Probox. Along the way, Rukweza decided to pick up Mwale to accompany him.
After picking up Mwale and on arrival at the destination, one of the suspects pulled out a pistol and pointed on Mwale’s head before ordering him to lie on the vehicle seat.
Rukweza was also asked to do the same and the trio were robbed of US$55 cash before their feet and hands were tied with cables while their mouths were stuffed with pieces of cloths.
They were then bundled into their vehicle’s boot and later on dumped in a bushy area about 900m off the highway.
The suspects sped away in Rukweza’s vehicle. A few minutes later, Mwale managed to untie himself and sought assistance from the nearby Chirima High School. Rukweza was then rushed to hospital.
Inspector Dhewa said nothing has been recovered to date and a manhunt for the suspects in both cases is underway. The Herald