Sunday, May 28, 2023

Residents live in fear following fatal armed robbery

Matsiloje village residents in the North East District are living in fear following an armed robbery incident that left one villager dead during the festive season. The 19th December 2013 incident took place at a local hangout spot where the robbers got away with customers’ money and other valuables worth more than P10 000. In an interview with Sunday Standard, Matsiloje Police Station acting station commander Assistant Superintendent Alec Marula said the incident, which to place at the Other Place around 20:00 hours was reported to the police same evening. Marula said upon arrival at the scene, they found a middle aged man lying in a pool of blood with a gunshot wound in his body. The deceased was rushed to Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital where he was certified dead.

“The information we received is that five assailants armed with guns went into a bar in the village and demanded that everyone should lie down. Two of the assailants went inside the bar and the depot while three of them ordered people outside the bar to lie down. They then searched all the people in the premises and took their money and valuables worth over P8 000. The culprits were reportedly speaking Ndebele,” said the acting station commander. He added that two assailants went into the bar and depot and robbed money amounting to P2 000 before shooting dead one reveler who had refused to obey their instruction to lie down. The five culprits then escaped into the dark of the night.

Marula confirmed that the deceased was a teacher at Masunga Senior Secondary School. “We followed their tracks the following morning leading us into the Zimbabwean side of the border. We are currently working hand in hand with our Zimbabwean counterparts to arrest the culprits,” he said.

Marula said that they never record such criminal activities in their policing area. He said that the only criminal activities that haunt the village are minor cases of common assaults. He however said that the other major problem they faced during the festive season was the influx of Illegal immigrants into the country. “During the festive season we also had a problem of illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe but we managed to contain the situation. We arrested over 100 illegal immigrants,” he said.

A village tribal elder Peter Kajane expressed shock and disappointment at the murder and robbery incident saying that it has left them engulfed in fear. “I grew up in this village and we have never experienced such gruesome criminal incident. The man who was shot dead is a resident of Matsiloje and we are still shocked. This incident has instilled fear among residents. Through our cooperation with the police, we believe the culprits will be arrested and brought to book,” he said.

An eye witness who works at the bar, Otsetswe Tshwenyego said she had gone to the depot to help customers when two men stormed in the depot wielding guns. She said that one of the men ordered customers to lie down while another pointed a gun at her demanding that she open the security door inside the depot. She said there were at least 15 customers in the depot. “The robber also demanded that I should lie down and I refused to do so. He then shot on the roof of the depot.

Although I was not scared, I moved to the corner of the building and he jumped over the counter and took over P400.00 from the shelf. He demanded that I give him my cellphone which I did and surprisingly he gave it back,” Tshwenyego said. She said that the robber then demanded that instead of taking her cellphone, she should kiss him and she did while he pointed the gun at her head. She said that the two robbers then searched all of the customers and took their valuables before fleeing the scene. Tshwenyego said she then left the depot to go and check the bar and that is when she found that some of the assailants had taken money from the bar and had shot dead one customer. “The information I got is that the customer refused to lie down when the robbers demanded him to do so and they shot him,” she said .


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