Nqobile Tshili: Chronicle Correspondent
POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested a man who allegedly broke into the Old Bulawayo Museum and stole King Lobengula’s gold coated spear among other artefacts that have since been recovered.
Bongani Mahlobo, 33, of Hope Fountain on the outskirts of Bulawayo was arrested on Tuesday.
He allegedly told officers that he did not mean to steal the artefacts but did it on ancestral spirits’ influence.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said Mahlobo was in police custody assisting with investigations.
“We arrested him and recovered the spear, clay pot and the black fly whisk which had been stolen. The spear was stuffed in a thatched roof at his homestead in Hope Fountain. He is assisting police with investigations and will appear in court soon,” said Insp Simango.
She said Mahlobo claimed that he was a traditional healer.
“He told the officers that he was a descendant of Lobengula and stole the artefacts under ancestral spirits influence. He said he was a traditional healer and his ancestors guided him to the historic site where he took the artefacts,” she said.
Insp Simango said officers also observed that at his home there were some relics commonly associated with traditional healers.
The theft was discovered last week on Sunday after an alert caretaker at the historic site observed that there were some missing artefacts and reported the matter to the police.