Thursday, 6 February 2020

MAYHEM AS GANG OPENS FIRE IN CHITUNGWIZA


Business briefly came to a halt at Makoni Shopping Centre in Chitungwiza yesterday afternoon when a gang of robbers fired 10 shots into the air and robbed two foreign currency dealers of US$7 000, up to $30 000 and a Toyota Allion.

The nine robbers, who were wearing masks, jumped off a Toyota Hilux truck armed with pistols, rifles and a machete before one of them ordered the foreign currency dealers, who trade outside the Simbisa Food Court, to lie  down.

Fast-food and confectionery outlets Chicken Inn and Baker’s Inn had to temporarily close their doors, with customers abandoning their food, as the heist unfolded.

Some people who were queueing for cash at Mukuru.com scurried for cover, while others lay on the ground face down.

According to witnesses, the robbers were active for just 10 minutes, traumatising both formal and informal traders at the shopping centre. The shopping centre is popular for foreign currency trading and fruit vending.

Witnesses said after the gang fired the shots, one of them smashed the window of a car and grabbed a bag containing cash in local and foreign currency.

“They fired 10 shots as everyone ran away for safety. Those who were  queueing at Mukuru complied with the order and lay on the ground,” said Mr Farai Makurumure, who witnessed the incident.

When The Herald arrived, police officers were still at the scene carrying out investigations and interviewing witnesses.
  
National Polie spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said last night that two brothers were attacked and robbed of US$7 000 and between $15 000 to $30 000.

Some of the victims of the robbery were not on the scene with reports that they were tracking the robbers.

Another witness, Mr Jerold Muchakati, who is also a foreign currency dealer, said used cartridges were found at the scene after the gang had disappeared.

Said Mr Muchakati: “We saw the cartridges and managed to take pictures when we regrouped after the robbers had driven off. The cartridges were taken by the police as part of their investigations.”

Mr Gabriel Gwenzi said the gang was targeting foreign currency dealers.

“We are now living in fear. Robberies are normally done at night but this incident occurred in broad daylight. Herald

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