Machete gang robs cross border transporters

Michell Zvanyanya, Chronicle Reporter

SIX machete-wielding robbers allegedly attacked two Bulawayo cross border transporters and robbed them of R8 850, $40 as well as groceries near Beitbridge along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge road following a tyre puncture.

Mr Kudakwashe Moyo (25) and Mr Given Desmond Tsebo (24) were driving towards Bulawayo when they were forced to disembark from their Toyota Hiace due to a tyre puncture at the 292KM peg along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge road in Mtetengwe at around 1AM last Friday.

Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Philisani Ndebele confirmed the incident.

He said the vehicle was towing a trailer carrying groceries.

Insp Ndebele said following the tyre puncture the two decided to sleep in the car and the armed robbers pounced on them.

“We received a report of two Bulawayo men who were robbed by six unknown robbers along Bulawayo-Beitbridge road. The robbers who were armed with machetes and axes assaulted the complainants before robbing them of money amounting to ZAR8 850, RTGS$40 and some groceries,” he said.

“The complainants were heading to Bulawayo from Beitbridge and upon reaching Mtetengwe at the 292KM peg the two front tyres and one back tyre sustained a puncture. The complainants disembarked from the car to check on the breakdown and decided to sleep inside the car on the roadside.”

Insp Ndebele said after about 20 minutes six unknown accused persons armed with machetes and axes approached the parked vehicle and smashed the front passenger window.
He said they pulled the victims out of the car and started assaulting them with fists.

Insp Ndebele said one of the complainants, Mr Tsebo sustained head injuries after he was hit on the forehead using the back of the axe.
“After the assault four accused persons in the gang force-marched the complainants into a nearby bushy area whilst two others searched for money and valuables. The robbers are still at large and we appeal to anyone with information that may lead to their arrest to contact their nearest police station,” he said.

Insp Ndebele said from preliminary investigations police suspect that most tyre punctures are caused by robbers who place sharp objects on the road.

He urged motorists to be cautious when driving along the Bulawayo-Beitbridge road.

Insp Ndebele said they have recorded an increase in robbery cases on that highway.

“Robbery cases are now more common along the highway especially Masvingo – Beitbridge road and Bulawayo- Beitbridge road. I therefore urge motorists to be more careful when driving along the highway.

They should also be alert on who is following them while driving because we have realised that most punctures that occur on the highway are inflicted by robbers in the Beitbridge area,” he said. “In the event that motorists experience a breakdown they should drive to the nearest safe homestead to seek shelter than parking on the roadside at night to avoid such incidents.” —@michellzvanyanyan2

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