Passengers(27) robbed by gunmen

By ZBC Reporter
PASSENGERS(27) aboard a bus heading for Beitbridge were robbed of money and valuables worth thousands of dollars at gunpoint by three men early Saturday robbed o by three gunmen, some 20 kilometres before the border town.
The incident occurred soon after the Lutumba tollgate along the Beitbridge-Masvingo highway. The bus was reportedly travelling from Harare with 33 people on board including the bus crew and the three suspects.
MB Transport proprietor Brian Mungofa confirmed the incident yesterday saying the suspects had boarded the bus at Mbudzi roundabout.
“The robbers boarded the bus in Harare on Friday along with other 27 passengers at the Mbudzi traffic circle. They then attacked the passengers early in the morning at Lutumba area. They were three suspects and have gone into hiding. The matter has been reported to the police,” said Mungofa.
The exact amount stolen could not be readily verified.
National Police spokesman Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the matter was under investigation.
“I can confirm that we are investigating a case of three suspects who robbed some passengers in a bus they had boarded from Harare and travelling to Beitbridge,” he said.
This comes after a similar incident to Zimbabweans travelling to Harare from South Africa who were robbed of valuables by two gunmen who had followed them from Johannesburg.
The bus driver, Thembane Ngwenya survived death by a whisker after two bullets narrowly missed his head when one of the robbers shot at him at close range. According to Ngwenya, the suspects shot at the bus inducing a mechanical fault resulting in him stopping after struggling to engage gears.
“They demanded R40 000 which they alleged had been given to the bus crew by one client in Johannesburg. They searched everyone and took away phones and money and left after they were convinced we had no money,” said Ngwenya.
There has been an increase in cases where armed robbers target Zimbabwean cross-border buses in South Africa.
Over 15 buses have been attacked by armed gangs in the last 12 months. In addition, more than six buses have been attacked by armed robbers between Lutumba and Beitbridge town by armed robbers who pretend to be passengers but later attack their victims especially those travelling from Harare to South Africa for shopping.