SEVEN masked armed robbers pounced on a family in Bulawayo’s Morningside suburb and beat them up before getting away with US$39 000 and R118 000 using their victims’ car.
The robbers who were armed with a pistol raided the home belonging to a businessman on Wednesday at about 8pm.
Two of the robbers allegedly tied up their two victims while five others ransacked the house in search of cash.
In an interview yesterday, Mr Walter Mbizi who runs a hardware shop said he was not at home when the robbers attacked his family.
“I had gone to the gym when they raided my house. I received a phone call from a friend who told me that seven armed robbers had raided my house and had gotten away with cash. They were armed with a pistol and wore balaclavas. I rushed home to discover that they had assaulted my brother and our maid before they got away with a substantial amount of money,” said Mr Mbizi.
“They got away with US$39 000 and R118 000, two cell phones and a power bank and escaped from the scene using our Nissan Bluebird car. The robbers had gained entry through an unlocked kitchen door, which they forced open as it can only be opened from inside.”
He said his brother and the maid were however not seriously injured during the robbery. Mr Mbizi said they recovered the car which was dumped in the city centre together with the cellphones and the power bank.
“In the car the robbers left about R150, ZW$8 and US$4. I think they purposefully left the money hoping that someone would enter the car and contaminate the crime scene,” said Mr Mbizi.
He said the incident has traumatised him as it would be difficult to recover the stolen money.
“This will definitely hurt my business. But again, there is low confidence in the banking sector forcing small businesses like mine not to bank money. Not banking also exposes us to criminals. We are basically in a fix,” he said.
Mr Mbizi said he suspected the robbers knew his movements before they raided his home. Bulawayo police spokesperson Chief Inspector Precious Simango said investigations in the armed robbery case were underway.
“We are investigating an armed robbery case which occurred in Morningside suburb on Wednesday. We are concerned as we are continuously recording these armed robbery cases where victims risk losing their lives. We strongly appeal to members of the public to avoid keeping large sums of money in their homes,” said Chief Insp Simango.
She said police could not rule out a possibility of an inside job in the robbery.
“We are appealing to anyone who might have information regarding the armed robbery to come forward. They can report to their nearest police station or contact us on our hotline number 09-885479, toll free 110 or 999,” she said.