Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
A SUSPECTED serial house breaker who claimed he had a magical calabash that directed him to homes where there was cash has been arrested for stealing more than US$50 000 from nine houses in the leafy suburbs of Burnside and Hillside in Bulawayo.
Farai Nyahuye (41), who gave a Harare address when he was arrested, terrorised residents in the two suburbs between February and November this year.
He allegedly struck fear into his victims by leaving three stones prominently displayed at entrances to houses he broke into.
A source said residents who believed he used muti nicknamed him the “three stones thief.”
“It seems the three stones were part of a rite that he used to evade capture. In most cases he would go for cash and leave any other property,” said a victim who declined to be named.
“We hear he told police he had this calabash that led him to houses where there was cash. He claimed to be immune to detection by home owners due to some herbs that he used.”
Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango yesterday said Nyahuye was arrested in a joint operation between Bulawayo and Harare Criminal Investigations Department detectives as he had cases in both cities.
“Since February this year we had been receiving reports of unlawful entry and theft cases that were occurring mainly in Hillside suburb. The suspect was targeting cash only in most his raids. He would leave three stones at every premise he would have broken into,” said Chief Insp Simango.
She said while there were several cases being reported in Bulawayo, similar incidents were reported in Harare.
“These raids occurred between February and last month. In one of the houses he broke into he stole US$22 000 and a firearm which he later dumped near Lookout Masuku Barracks,” said Chief Insp Simango.
“He made several raids. Some were not successful but his latest is in November where he struck at a house in Hillside suburb and stole US$8 000, a Samsung S7 cellphone, a gold ring, a British passport and four Zimbabwean passports among things. The property and cash had a combined value of about US$33 000. The passports among other small items were recovered in Gweru”.
Chief Insp Simango said cops arrested Nyahuye after he was identified on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage from one of the premises he had raided.
She said police in Harare discovered an assortment of traditional and religious artefacts at his home following his arrest.
“Among the items that were recovered were three stones that were in a pocket of his pair of trousers while on the other side herbs (umuthi/muti) were tied in a cloth. He also was found with a white cloth inscribed with someone’s name and surname. Other traditional and religious artefacts were found hidden in his house,” said Chief Insp Simango. — @nqotshili.