A BEITBRIDGE-based freelance journalist was savagely attacked and robbed of his money and a cellphone by three masked men who left him for dead.
The incident occurred at a lay-by in Makhado area along the Beitbridge-Bulawayo road on Friday.
Tapiwa Tabheni, 36, yesterday narrated how he narrowly escaped death following the attack, shortly after 3.30PM.
“I was driving from Bulawayo to Beitbridge with a friend when I decided to stop at a lay-by to attend to nature’s call. I had walked for just a few metres from my car when I spotted a man lying on the ground. When I got closer, he immediately sprung to his feet and struck me with a log,” said Tabheni.
He said two other men with masks emerged from the bush wielding knives and joined in attacking him until he lost consciousness.
“I tried to plead with them to spare my life but the plea fell on deaf ears as they continued to attack me with logs and knives until I passed out,” said Tabheni.
His friend, who watched helplessly from a distance, turned on the car’s ignition in a bid to scare away the robbers.
“My friend switched on the engine of the car and drove towards the suspects but they seemed undeterred as they damaged the car with stones,” said Tabheni.
The three men robbed Tabheni of $180 and a Blackberry cellphone before fleeing from the scene.
Tabheni’s friend managed to drive to Makhado police station where he reported the matter to the police.
Police arrived at the scene and combed the area with the assistance of sniffer dogs but failed to locate the suspects.
Tabheni sustained severe head injuries and bruises all over his body. He was taken to Beitbridge District Hospital where five stitches were needed to suture a gash on his head.
Motorists using the Beitbridge-Bulawayo and the Beitbridge-Masvingo highways continue to fall prey to armed robbers who waylay them at lay-bys.
Last year on Christmas Day, police arrested two suspects linked to a syndicate that targeted and robbed motorists along the Beitbridge-Bulawayo road.
Tawanda Musekwa, 30, and Boniface Mushavati, 28, were arrested in Mvuma and Masvingo following a tip-off. Police recovered two axes, a machete, some work suits, an iron bar and a torch which the gang used in committing the crimes.
They also recovered seven solar panels, six amplifiers, six cellphones, two disco equipment speakers, one generator, two solar batteries, an assortment of groceries and clothing items.
The gang had unleashed a reign of terror on motorists on a 40km radius along the Beitbridge–Masvingo and the Beitbridge-Bulawayo highways.
Musekwa and Mushavati have since appeared in court jointly charged with 26 counts of armed robbery and the case is still pending.