Rob­bers raid school for exam pa­pers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Wal­ter Mswazie

A PO­LICE­MAN from Zvisha­vane is bat­tling for life in hospi­tal af­ter five knife-wield­ing men stabbed him and dis­armed him of his ser­vice rifle in a sus­pected bid to steal pub­lic ex­am­i­na­tion pa­pers at a school in Gutu.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred on Mon­day at around 12:50AM.

Con­sta­ble Nor­est Ku­varega (31) of Buchwa’s po­lice sup­port unit had been de­ployed to Mpan­dawana High School in Gutu to guard Zim­babwe School Ex­am­i­na­tions Coun­cil (Zim­sec) ex­am­i­na­tion ma­te­rial, said a source.

His at­tack­ers al­legedly struck him with a stone on the head, stabbed on him on the cheek and tried to stran­gle him. They left him for dead, tied to a desk at the school.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors al­legedly found the rifle along a foot­path about 500 me­tres from the scene. Its mag­a­zine was still fully loaded. It was not clear yes­ter­day how the as­sailants es­caped the de­tec­tion of two other cops who were on guard duty with Cst Ku­varega.

Zim­sec Masvingo re­gional man­ager Sil­vanos Dandira could not be reached for com­ment yes­ter­day.

How­ever, sources said the rob­bers who were also armed with knobker­ries and ham­mers in­tended to steal O- and A-Level ex­am­i­na­tion ques­tion pa­pers at the school.

“They were in­di­ca­tions that the locks to the ad­min­is­tra­tion block’s door were tam­pered with,” said a school of­fi­cial who de­clined to be named.

“Const Ku­varega was on duty with Con­sta­bles Urayayi and Matindike.

“Just af­ter mid­night Const Ku­varega car­ried some checks around the perime­ter fence but within the school premises be­fore re­turn­ing to his point of guard. On his way back he was struck with a stone on the head and be­fore he could fig­ure out what had hap­pened, five men grabbed him and started throt­tling him from be­hind,” said the source.

The source said Const Ku­varega fought the men when they tried to take his gun and they stabbed him on the left cheek and up­per lip.

“The men struck him all over the body us­ing a ham­mer and knobker­ries be­fore dis­arm­ing him,” said an­other source.

The quin­tet al­legedly tied Const Ku­varega to a desk us­ing tree fi­bres be­fore flee­ing.

“He man­aged to un­tie him­self af­ter a few min­utes and alerted his col­leagues. A re­port was made to the po­lice who at­tended the scene and ob­served that the five sus­pects had tam­pered with the locks to the school’s ad­min­is­tra­tion block back door ap­par­ently to break in,” said the source.

“The firearm was found dumped along a dust road about 500 me­tres from the scene with its fully loaded mag­a­zine. In­di­ca­tions were that the sus­pects had uri­nated on it and sprin­kled soil on the gun, ap­par­ently to erase fin­ger­prints.”

Ef­forts to get a com­ment from po­lice na­tional spokesper­son Chief Su­per­in­ten­dent Paul Ny­athi were fruit­less as his mo­bile rang unan­swered. — @wal­terbm­swazie2

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