Machete & axe gang robs five taxi passengers
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)