Ma­chete & axe gang robs five taxi pas­sen­gers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu

THREE ma­chete and axe wield­ing rob­bers al­legedly hi­jacked a taxi and robbed five pas­sen­gers of $108 and three cell­phones af­ter the driver had fled in ter­ror.

The three uniden­ti­fied rob­bers had flagged down the taxi on Wed­nes­day around 4AM.

Mata­bele­land South pro­vin­cial police spokesper­son In­spec­tor Phi­lani Nde­bele said the rob­bery oc­curred along Gwanda- Vum­bachikwe Road near Makwe turn off.

He said police had launched a man­hunt for the three sus­pects.

“We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing an armed rob­bery case where three uniden­ti­fied men that were armed with two axes and a ma­chete stole $108 and three cell­phones from five pas­sen­gers around 4AM on 8 Novem­ber.

“The driver of the taxi Ephias Mbiza was driv­ing from Blan­ket Mine to Gwanda Town with five pas­sen­gers on board.

“When he got to Vum­bachikwe Mine Club he was stopped by three un­known male adults. Two of them sat in the boot while an­other sat in the pas­sen­ger’s seat,” he said.

Insp Nde­bele said the three men re­quested to drop off about 10 me­tres from Makwe turn off. He said the driver stopped the ve­hi­cle, opened the boot for the two men and then asked for his money.

Insp Nde­bele said the third man dis­em­barked from ve­hi­cle hold­ing a small axe and charged to­wards the driver.

He said Mr Mbiza wres­tled with his at­tacker and man­aged to over­power him but the two other men pro­duced weapons forc­ing the driver to flee.

“The three men de­manded money from the five pas­sen­gers and robbed them of $108 and a cell­phone be­fore flee­ing into the bush.

“As police we would like to ap­peal to mem­bers of the pub­lic with in­for­ma­tion on the where­abouts and iden­tity of these three men to visit any police sta­tion near them,” he said.

Insp Nde­bele urged taxi driv­ers to ex­er­cise ex­treme cau­tion es­pe­cially when trav­el­ling at night. He said mo­torists had to be wary of the pas­sen­gers that they picked up at night.

“He also urged op­er­a­tors of pub­lic ser­vice ve­hi­cles to de­sist from over­load­ing as they were en­dan­ger­ing lives of pas­sen­gers.

“This driver al­ready had five pas­sen­gers in his Fun Cargo taxi but he went on to pick up three more pas­sen­gers which is against traf­fic reg­u­la­tions. If he had fol­lowed road reg­u­la­tions he could have avoided this in­ci­dent,” he said.—@DubeMatutu

A truck laden with crates poses dan­ger to other road users as some of the crates fall onto the on-com­ing traf­fic lane along Khami Road in Bu­l­awayo re­cently. (Pic­ture by Nko­sizile Ndlovu)

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