Thandeka Moyo, Chronicle Reporter
A SECURITY guard at the Seventh Day Adventist church-run Pelandaba Primary School in Bulawayo died after he was savagely attacked by four armed robbers during a raid in which two laptops and cash amounting to $200 were stolen early yesterday morning.
Buton Skalongo died on admission to Mpilo Central Hospital while his colleague Mr Vusa Tshuma survived the attack.
Four men broke into the school and church, which are located on the same premises, at around midnight yesterday and brutally attacked the two security guards.
They allegedly tied them with ropes and left them in a passage.
The armed robbers escaped unnoticed after stealing $200 and two laptops from the school guard room and the church safe.
Both Mr Tshuma and Mr Skalongo were rescued at around 6AM and rushed to Mpilo hospital.
Mr Skalongo died on admission to the hospital while Mr Tshuma was treated and discharged.
The Chronicle visited the scene yesterday and heard how the four men armed with iron bars raided the premises.
“These men were both guards for the school and church and we found them tied with ropes in the morning. Skalonga was severely attacked and his blood was splashed on the school floor,” said Pelandaba resident Ms Sihle Nyathi.
“It’s so sad that robbers have resorted to attacking churches thereby evoking God’s wrath.
“We will greatly miss Skalongo who had served this church for more than 30 years. I will miss his harmonica pieces he normally delivered during worship.”
SDA West Zimbabwe Conference spokesperson Pastor Tadius Nkanyezi said the church was in mourning.
“We had a break in yesterday night at Pelandaba Primary School and church and two guards who were manning the premises were severely attacked.
Unfortunately, one of them, Skalongo, died at hospital and the other one survived.
“We hope investigations will help us identify the four men. We are working on getting the fuller details,” he said.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said investigations were underway.
“We attended the crime scene at Pelandaba Primary School and Church where four unidentified men broke in and stole laptops and cash,” she said.
“We urge members of the public to help us to patrol their neighbourhoods and apprehend suspicious characters. They must also desist from carrying dangerous weapons at any time as we will treat everyone as a suspect.”
Insp Simango said people should be careful and report any suspicious activities to the police.
“Once more I will advise people to stop keeping money and valuables in safes or strongrooms as grinder-wielding criminals are on the loose.
“If possible they must even paste notices next to wide open safes and strongrooms advising everyone that they don’t keep cash or keys in those premises,” she said.