Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested two gangs of armed robbers, one of whom is suspected to have killed a security guard at a Seventh Day Adventist church-run primary school in Pelandaba suburb.
Four members of the first group of armed robbers: Onias Bhebhe (43), Thompson Phuthi (40) Martin Bhebhe (36) and Nozinhle Bhebhe (24) have been linked to the Pelandaba suburb murder.
Their victim, Buton Sikalongo, whom they allegedly savagely attacked, died upon admission to Mpilo Central Hospital last Wednesday morning.
Sikalongo’s workmate Mr Vusa Tshuma was left for dead.
National police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi said the Pelandaba suburb gang was facing armed robbery and murder charges in connection with the crime committed last week on Tuesday.
“Circumstances are that on the said date at about midnight, the four suspects went to a school in Pelandaba, Bulawayo, where they ransacked the school stealing laptops and other property. The robbers strangled a security guard manning the premises,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.
“Police managed to recover a star pistol and various equipment used for unlawful entry and theft upon arresting the quartet.”
He said police also recovered a laptop and money among other stolen property.
Chief Supt Nyathi declared war on criminals saying police would not rest until the streets and premises are safe for residents.
He said the second gang of armed robbers, who were also four, was arrested for hijacking a taxi after attacking its driver before robbing an usiphatheleni of over R55 000 using the vehicle.
Chief Supt Nyathi said the incident occurred on January 3.
“The four accused who had hired a taxi grabbed and assaulted the taxi driver before demanding cash and a cell phone from him. The robbers, after bundling the taxi driver out of his vehicle, drove the car and spotted a money changer whom they robbed of R55 000, $1 200, R7 600 and two Samsung cell phones,” said Chief Supt Nyathi.
Yesterday, the Officer Commanding Bulawayo West District, Chief Superintendent Marshal Dube, his deputy Superintendent Mathias Matongo, Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango among others visited the SDA run school where they spoke to Sikalongo’s brother George who had travelled from Zambia for his brother’s burial.
George expressed gratitude to the police for swiftly apprehending the murder suspects.
He said he was disturbed by the gruesome murder of his only brother.
“I sincerely want to thank the police for their efforts in combating this sinful cruelty done to my brother.
“Buton was my only brother whom I dearly loved. Now I no longer have a brother. It was painful to learn that he died following an attack from robbers. He was a hero for Christ. He died protecting the school and church property,” said George describing his brother as a martyr who loved the church.
“Even children were crying during the service. This church was his home. It was part of his life. He died defending its property,” he said.
Article Source: The Chronicle