Bulawayo CBZ bank robbed, as Koala Park in Harare is besieged

By Lisa Masuku & Fungai Jachi

Five gunmen got away with more than US$80 000 at CBZ bank in Bulawayo this Tuesday after posing as customers.

Zimbabwe Republic Police national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident, saying the five armed robbers pretended to be genuine customers before robbing the bank.

“We are conducting investigations in connection with an armed robbery case which occurred yesterday at CBZ Fife Street and 10th Avenue in Bulawayo. Five suspects allegedly posed as customers who wanted to be assisted at the bank. The armed robbers then pounced and attacked the staff and went away with over US$80 000 and ZW$80 440,” he said.

Money heists targeting cash-in-transit vehicles and banks have reached alarming levels with Harare and Bulawayo being the hot spots.

Just last month, four armed robbers raided a cash-in-transit vehicle at Mukuru money transfer agent in Bulawayo.

Meanwhile, in Harare, an armed gang pounced on Koala Park butchery this Tuesday and allegedly held management and farm employees’ hostage, demanding a US$30 000 ransom.The alleged robbery was executed between 7 and 11am this Tuesday by a gang of about seven armed robbers who pretended to be NetOne technicians for them to gain access into the farm.

One of the victims Joseph Dombo (not his real), narrated how the movie style robbery was executed.

“These people were dropped around 7am in the wheat field and they were putting on orange overalls written ‘NetOne’. They called all of us and bundled us up tying our hands before ordering us to lay down. They then removed their overalls and put on ours to look like farm workers. They showed us a gun and its bullets threatening to shoot anyone who did not comply. They then covered us with black a plastic as we lay on the ground waiting for our manager to come as they had called him. It was a hard time for me as I was scared. I was helpless and so was everyone else because there was nothing we could do to stop them.”

Other farm workers lamented the unsanctioned access to guns by the general public.

Police confirmed the incident saying investigations are currently underway although the suspects are yet to be apprehended.

This comes barely two months after an armed gang of robbers pounced on security guards delivering cash at a bank in Newlands, Harare and got away with over US$90 000 cash and half a million Zimbabwe dollars.

A number of armed robbers have, however, been nabbed and guns seized, including a notorious gang that targeted churches and got away with over US$100 000 cash, with suspects having already appeared in court.