A GWANDA family that recently lost more than R50 000 lobola to armed robbers who pounced on their homestead suspects that a family member masterminded the attack.
Mr Kenneth Ndlovu (66), whose daughter got married to a Bulawayo man on Saturday last week, said his family from Bethel Village in Gwanda was still shaken by the incident which had seen them suffer a great loss.
He said they suspect that the armed robbery mastermind was a family member as the culprits appeared to be well informed about the amount and location of the money.
Mr Ndlovu said they spent last Saturday afternoon celebrating the customary union of his daughter to her husband as her bride price had been paid.
“Our in-laws arrived on Saturday morning for the negotiations which went very well. By 1PM we were done and they had gone. I had invited a few relatives from my side as I wanted to be discreet and some of them also left in the afternoon. My relatives who remained suggested that we have a small party to celebrate our daughter’s customary union to her husband since they had paid the bride price for her,” he said.
“We held the party at my mother-in-law’s homestead as that was where we had conducted the negotiations but personally I was against holding the party as I wanted to keep our affairs as private as possible. At around 12 midnight, me and my wife went to our homestead which is about one and half kilometres from where we held the celebrations. I took with me R47 500 from the R55 000 which we had received from our in-laws and I gave the remaining R7 500 to some relatives.”
Mr Ndlovu said while he was asleep, there was loud banging on the door as someone was trying to force it open.
He said four masked men who were armed with a pistol, hammer and log descended on them, tied his feet and hands with a rope and assaulted his wife with a log demanding the lobola that they had received.
Mr Ndlovu said fearing for their lives, he showed the armed robbers a bag containing R47 500 which he had received from his in laws and US$400 which was his personal money.
He said the gang also took their cell phones and left.
“These people moved to my mother-in-law’s homestead where they ordered my relatives who were sleeping there to give them the remainder of the money from the bride price. They also tied five people they found there and took US$300, R3 110, $1 932 and four cell phones. These people deflated our tyres in order to prevent us from moving,” he added.
“I assume that these robbers were monitoring our movements during the party right up to the time we went home and they waited for us to sleep for them to pounce.
“They also knew that the bulk of the money was with me and some of it had remained at the other homestead. I’m really saddened by this tragic event. It left us traumatised and shaken as we thought these people would kill us. We suspect that a family member could be behind this.”
Deputy national police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Blessmore Chishaka said they had since launched a manhunt for the suspects who fled in an unidentified vehicle.