POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested a gang of armed robbers believed to have been robbing residents of their cash and belongings and raping one of their victims in the process between July 31, 2015 and January 17 this year.
BY SILAS NKALA
The suspects have been linked to at least 30 cases of unlawful entry, theft, robbery and rape that occurred in the city.
The nine — Gift Dlamini (32), Mpiloyabo Nkiwane (22), Nqobizitha Ncube (36), Standford Dlamini (21), Buyani Dlamini (24), Milton Ndlovu (23), Hillary Dube (26), Lewis Ndlovu (21), and Mlungisi Maphosa (24) separately appeared in court facing various charges.
Of these, only Dube could not attend the court as he was admitted at the United Bulawayo Hospital where he is nursing gunshot injuries after he was shot by police detectives when he attempted to evade arrest.
The court heard that on July 31, 2015, two of the suspects approached a commuter who had disembarked from a kombi at Maplanka Business centre and attacked her from behind until she became unconscious before taking her hand bag, cash and cell phones.
On December 19, they allegedly armed themselves with axes and machetes before robbing a motorist of his vehicle worth $3 800, cash and mobile phones.
On December 19 last year, some of the alleged robbers approached a woman while seated in her boyfriend’s car, bundled the boyfriend to the back seat and drove to Ngozi Mine where they took turns to rape the woman and fled.
On the same day, they allegedly stormed Cowdray Park and robbed another victim of goods worth $594. On January 2, 2016, in the same area they pounced on another resident and robbed him of his mobile phones and a Mitsubishi car which they drove away and abandoned it at Basch Street near Egodini Terminus in Bulawayo. The total value of stolen property was $4 570.
On January 5, a commuter omnibus driver was driving along the road between Bulawayo and Tsholotsho and found the road blocked with stones. When he stopped the car to remove the stones, the suspects pounced on him wielding axes, catapults and machetes ordering all the occupants in the kombi to surrender cellphones and cash which they collected.
On January 16, the suspects attacked other two residents in Cowdray Park and robbed them.
The following day, they allegedly raided a house in Luveve where they stole property worth over $4 040.