Saturday, 30 December 2017

MAN STABBED AS FAMILY IS HELD HOSTAGE

A MAN from Bulawayo’s Mahatshula suburb is in critical condition at the United Bulawayo Hospitals’ intensive care unit after he was stabbed several times by armed robbers who held his family hostage.

Mr Joseph Choga (48), his wife and two children were held at knife point by four robbers who were also armed with iron bars at their home on Wednesday around 1AM.

The assailants, who are on the run, allegedly got away with $1 000, over R1 400 and a 51 inch plasma television.

A source said the attackers arrived at the family home while the children were still watching television.

“When the children heard footsteps and checked through the windows they saw four armed men with a knife, among other weaponry. The children screamed alerting their parents who had retired to bed in their bedroom,” said the source.

The robbers were not deterred by sounds that were coming from the house as they broke down a door using unknown tools.  They rushed into the house while demanding valuables.
Mr Choga, the source said, locked his family in the bedroom but the burglars broke down the door to gain access.

“They pounced into the bedroom and demanded cash while wielding a knife. They stabbed his wife on the arm before turning on him. They viciously stabbed him on his upper body several times. He is badly injured and was rushed to UBH where he is admitted to the ICU,” said the source.
The robbers could have been stalking the family, said the source, as it did not appear likely that they were victims of a random attack.

“What drove the robbers to target their house? Mahatshula is just too large for one to be randomly targeted. These robbers were well informed about the family’s financial position because it doesn’t make sense that from nowhere they are brutally attacked by cash demanding robbers at a time when there is a cash crisis in the country,” said the source.

The Chronicle yesterday afternoon visited the family’s home and found it deserted.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the armed robbery and attempted murder.

She said police were investigating the case and appealed to members of the public to keep their financial positions secret.

“Police are investigating a robbery case which occurred at a home in Mahatshula South suburb. The armed robbers got away with more than $1 000. They have not been arrested and we are appealing to those who may have information regarding their whereabouts to report to their nearest police station,” she said.

Insp Simango said police were concerned over burglary cases that have spiked in the past few weeks in the city.

She called on members of the public to increase security at their homes. Chronicle

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