MOVIE STYLE ROBBERY AT CHOPPIES. . . Gun-toting gang in sleek 2-minute operation

Choppies Supermarket in Bulawayo’s Pumula South suburb

Choppies Supermarket in Bulawayo’s Pumula South suburb

Whinsley Masara/Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporters
SIX gun-toting men raided Choppies Supermarket in Bulawayo’s Pumula South suburb before getting away with more than $700 in a two-minute movie style robbery.

Witnesses said the suspects entered the shop disguised as shoppers and one of them assumed a position at the door, fired a shot in the air before ordering everyone to lie down.

The other five, witnesses said, ransacked the tills and within seconds, they were done.

The robber manning the door reportedly fired three more shots while ordering everyone to continue facing down and not to move an inch before the gang made off in a getaway car.

The incident happened on Monday at about 7.30PM.

When The Chronicle visited the supermarket yesterday morning, business had resumed although the staff was still traumatised.

Choppies Pumula South branch manager Mr Bornface Nyambe said the robbery unfolded like an action movie script.

“They were in and out within two minutes. They walked in disguised as shoppers. The supermarket was packed and they took their positions around the shop,” said Mr Nyambe.

“I was working on my desk just authorising invoices. It was around 7:34PM. I then heard a very loud noise, but at the back of my mind I just thought that it may have been an electrical fault or a cable that had short circuited. Reality struck when I heard the second shot being fired.”

He said the gang of six shouted obscenities before ordering everyone to lie down.

“They got in and ransacked the tills. According to our calculations, they got away with $748,” he said.

Mr Nyambe said the suspects then came to his office and demanded more money.

“One of them came over to my desk where I was crouching. He pulled me up, held me by the collar and demanded that I give them more money. I think my life was spared because one of them came in and called him out. They then left,” he said.

Mr Nyambe said the robbers then made off in their getaway vehicle that had been parked behind the supermarket.

He hailed the swift reaction of the police who attended the scene within five minutes.

Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the robbery, saying the suspects were still at large.

“We are investigating a case of armed robbery that occurred in Pumula South suburb on Monday night. Six men approached the shop and robbed them at gun point. Gun shots were fired but no one was injured. The unidentified robbers fled from the scene, disappearing into darkness, and are still at large,” she said.

Insp Simango urged shop-owners to avoid keeping large sums of money in their tills especially towards closing times.

She applauded the customers for not confronting the robbers as this could have resulted in injuries or loss of lives.

“We continue to warn people not to resist robbers or any armed attackers’ instructions. In many cases people are injured or killed during resistance,” said Insp Simango.



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  • Mthwakazian

    People has seen how it’s done in SA and are employing the same tricks in Zimbabwe.

    • Wolves Witches and Giants

      No Comrade, they didn’t just see it in SA, that’s what they do. Nkayi, Tsholotsho boys are a health hazard in Joburg. We have contributed quite a lot to the prison population in Joburg. PS: Matland syndicates are some of the most violent hijackers and murderers in Gauteng and Mpumalanga. Information sourced from personal experience and family.

      • Bongani Dlamini

        Uyinja elamanga donki. What health hazard? What violence mbuzi. The day you and your family experience violence uzahlukana lamanga.

        • Njomane

          Kkkkk…. What health hazard

          • Mlindeli Tshabalala

            They are a health hazard for sure, I remember a group of Tsholotsho guys trying to hijack a certain whiteman in Randburg, only one of the guys out of four made it alive, the rest where carried away with bullet holes in their upper bodies. Which was a good thing though, why should criminals be spared.

          • World Citizen

            Abantu abafuni ukukhuluma yiqiniso. We all know that due to the economic misfortunes that have befallen the country our Zim brothers have resorted to a life of crime in Jozi. While the cause is the government pushing its own people into exile, we should ask ourselves as a community and country whether crime is the only way out. I think not. We need to extol the virtues of hard work to our people because if we treat this issue with kid gloves, when the same brothers come back home after becoming hardened criminals with firearms and no respect for lives, it will be a rude awakening. We are seeing the increase in armed robbers which have the hallmarks of SA, suggesting its the returning residents. We need to solve this problem as a community at home and in the diaspora.

          • Papa Wa Ofentse Le Nqobile

            Who got to identify their ethinic backgrounds at this imaginary crime scene ? You lie like a cheap carpet.

          • Mlindeli Tshabalala

            Msun’kanyoko wena shiti yomuntu, the one who escaped was conered and disclosed that he was Melusi Ndlovu from Siphepha Tsholotsho mdid’ kanyoko olez’bambo. Unyok’ uhlezi ibheya njengoba ng’khuluma so.

          • Papa Wa Ofentse Le Nqobile
          • Ndlela Zimhlophe

            So wena Shona watshelwa ngubani ukuthi lamadoda awaseTsholotsho?

          • Mlindeli Tshabalala

            Msun’kanyoko wena shiti yomuntu, the one who escaped was conered and disclosed that he was Melusi Ndlovu from Siphepha Tsholotsho mdid’ kanyoko olez’bambo.

          • Papa Wa Ofentse Le Nqobile

            Asisoli wena sisola abakuzalayo.

          • Mlindeli Tshabalala

            Mina ngisola owakuzalayo, ohleli ibheya njengoba ng’khuluma.

        • Duze

          Indoda leyi iyazonda amandebele with a passion. There must be a Mtwakazian owakwela umfazi wakhe.

          • Wolves Witches and Guests

            Where is the name Ndebele ever mentioned? Show respect, your punctuation is off. It is amaNdebele. As a side note, if someone bonked the wife, what business does one have with what an adult does with their private parts?

          • Duze

            Usunguteacha yini. You the one that said in past posts that you hate Ndebeles so it stands to reason that you slate them using any means you can. If you don’t know the meaning of the word Punctuation I will enlighten you. (the marks, such as full stop, comma, and brackets, used in writing to separate sentences and their elements and to clarify meaning.) and just to show you that I am not stupid I have punctuated the sentence.

        • Wolves Witches and Guests

          Name calling doesn’t help. You know exactly what is being referred to. The explosives confiscated at the border going into RSA, what were they to be used for? Not mining definitely. And the Omalayitsha kidnapping syndicates from Musina to Hillbrow?

          • Bongani Dlamini

            so you mean ukuthi the likes of Chidhumo, Masendeke were from Tsholotsho?? Just recently there has been armed robberies in Harare and are you saying again those are being committed by people from Tsholotsho.

          • Wolves Witches and Guests

            No, they are not and I am not from Harare. Why turn an observation tribal. Don’t act like you have never heard of the Cecil brothers from Makokoba and his friend “Satan” who’d lure unsuspecting travelers to later on rob them in Joburg. They killed 2 girls after raping them. And the Bulawayo guys who killed that Air Zim employee after luring her to Botswana. And the cars stuck in sand in Limpopo., The Zim guys following people from OR Tambo etc. I am talking about crime in RSA as I’m resident here.

            Look, maybe it’s glaring to me because of my line of work. But fact remains. Zimbabweans in inner city Joburg and lately Kempton Park get up to some nasty things. The Matland syndicates seem to have a higher propensity towards violent behavior. You are free to use it or flush it. Infor.

          • Papa Wa Ofentse Le Nqobile

            Why are you a resident in South Africa in the first place ?

      • musa


      • Papa Wa Ofentse Le Nqobile

        You lie like a cheap carpet.

      • hlabusi

        what about a certain prophet in Harare of dombo remhikidzano, whose kombis are written at the back that they kill witches, is that not murder

        • Wolves Witches and Guests

          I have nothing to do with Mashonaland or Harare, I am not from there. I just made an observation.

          • ephraim mpoft

            Wolves your stupidity and hate for those people is alarming.Last week on Monday i was robbed at knife point by shona speaking guys.I never made a reference out of it.Go to Hillbrow inn,Ambassador,Summit,little Rose,Palace,Time Square those are shona girls selling their bodies unashamedly but it is nonsensical to clasify shonas as prostitutes.Lets condemn any wayward behaviour without hating each other.If you go to Byo now shonas outnumber Ndebeles so why Tsholotsho and Nkayi?

  • Ndlela Zimhlophe

    Swift reaction my foot, where the criminals caught…dololo…this is just Chronicle singing their usual song for their supper

    • Brutal Truth

      They took 5 minutes from the time the report was made,to make it to the scene & that is a swift reaction by any standard. Anti terror police in the UK don’t react that quick

  • Bongani Dlamini

    Looks like a supermarket in Mogadishu. ZANU-PF had run this country deep into the ground.

    • Gus

      you can say that again, also noticed it

    • fedup

      cry the beloved country Zanu-Pf to blame.

    • worried_zimbo

      yaaaaaaaa kkkkkkkkk, wangibulala as Mogadishu, i checked it now and you are spot on

  • Brutal Truth

    Clean,smooth & quick job,no lives lost.good work boys.but let’s see how you’ll share the peanuts amongst yourselves since you a dozen of you

  • Martin Chipimo

    The Supermarket should have put in place a security system, such as cctv or security guards, since it operations late into the evening.

    • Gatsheni

      Security guards, security system or CCTV are all useless, the boys will still strike and take what they want

  • nxumalo

    ngitsho bafowethu tsholotsho is rich breeding place for terrorists ,noma besifa bayaphambili khuzani abantwana bazali even abe Nkayi

  • benjamin

    Why do we glorify armed robberies as “MOVIE STYLE”,, “THE ROBBERY UNFOLDED LIKE AN ACTION MOVIE SCRIPT” etc… In a way, such talks elevate such robbers to more of “super hero status” or supermen and may encourage some young people out there to also enter the illicit and lowly occupation and “GAIN RECOGNITION”, earning more for less work etc.

    I believe we should describe such acts in such a way that at first glance a reader sees their FILTH, GRAVE DANGER TO INNOCENT LIVES, DISGUST, CRUELTY, REPULSIVENESS, VIOLENCE, NEED FOR UNCIVILISED AND DEPRAVED MINDS to commit them etc…

    • Ticha Fainos

      Don’t be jealousy.Tuma adverbs netuma ‘similes’ chete utwu. Words describing action words. U don’t find them where action did not take place. If John falls from a roof top the narrator can spice up the story by saying ” John slumped to the floor like a watermelon”. The fotopikicha becomes clearer. Ticha Fainos gives 99% plus a star. Ko ndozvakaitikazve nhai anhuwee. Whats wrong with that? Zvekuti John akadonha is your pa, so don’t compare him with a watermelon what what-aaaaahhh dezvekudhahwa izvo. Ticha Fainos vanokupa a zero.

      • Ntombi

        Jealousy??? Adverbs? Mmmm Ticha, you qouted Benji way out of context. I agree with Benjamin. Only in a tabloid like BMetro do you expect serious matters to be treated with a wild sense of humour. A mainstream paper like the Chronicle must be seen showing the gravity of the matter. Armed robbery is a very serious matter that can lead to the sudden loss of lives by unsuspecting innocent citizens and so it has to be openly condemned with the strongest words possible.

        • Ticha Fainos

          Agreed. ” Movie style’ and “The robery unfolded like an Action Movie Script” happen to be the best words in the dictionary.Think about it. Its a question of semantics.

  • Major Musango

    Mnangagwa faction gang behind this

    • Cde

      Noooo nxaaa iZapu or Mtwakazi

  • rinovava

    just as we know and understand they were violent and took what they can, however zimbabwes finest as usual will deliver despite low resources I can guarantee you soon before the ink dries up we will be talking again..come on zimbabwes finest hero basa, moita basa sebasa.. we must make Bulawayo an extreamly hot environment never to have such violent gangs and please send the ones caught for interrogation to knulumane police or magaba police visa vi take them to mucheke..the rest we will discuss

  • political prophets

    ZRP , ondinindambata ,detectives, Intelligence, someone is sleeping on duty, coz usually such events were usually prevented and intercepted before they occurred in Mugabe error kkk I mean ERA, but now its an everyday thing. I smell a conspiracy, and a sabotage, after ama Roadblocks have closed shop we find a surge in criminal activities, are the police boys angry and demotivated? just asking.