THREE members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in Bulawayo last Saturday fell victim to a five-member robbery gang after they were lured to a bushy area outside their base ostensibly to investigate a robbery case.
BY SILAS NKALA
One female officer was nearly raped by the knife-wielding gang.
This was heard by Bulawayo senior magistrate Gladmore Mushove when two of the gang members Thumani Sibanda (33) and Bhekimpilo Brain Khumalo (31) appeared before her charged with robbery, attempted rape and malicious damage to property.
They all pleaded guilty to the charges and the magistrate convicted them before remanding them in custody to today for sentence.
A torn pair of police trousers, knife and shoes belonging to one of the suspects was produced in court as evidence.
Khumalo said he committed the offence to raise the money for rent.
Prosecutor Jeremiah Mutsindikwa told the court that two of the police officers Admire Kaisi, Rufaro Mupoperi and their female colleague who cannot be named as she is an attempted rape victim, were stationed at Mzilikazi Police Station.
The trio was on duty on February 26.
A around 11pm, Sibanda and Khumalo in the company of their complices Towanda Moyo, Mbonisi Ncube and Menzi Dube, who are still at large, visited the police station where they filed a fake robbery report.
They asked the police officers to accompany them to the robbery scene.
Along the way, the suspects produced knives and two pairs of handcuffs and attacked the police officers.
They allegedly cut Kaisi’s pocket with a knife and took away a cellphone. Kaisi managed to break loose and fled.
The female police officer tried to run away, but Sibanda and Khumalo caught up with her and dragged her into the nearby drainage system where they ordered her to remove her pair of trousers, but she refused.
They cut her trousers buckles and buttons and stripped her naked telling her that they were professional rapists.
The two had removed their clothes and started assaulting her, but she resisted them and managed to disarm one of them of the knife during the scuffle.
They stole $5 and a necklace from her.
Mupoperi who had escaped called for reinforcements and the police dog section came and arrested the two.
The female police officer was injured and taken to Mpilo Hospital.