Villagers team up with cops in robber hunt

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Inspector Charity Mazula

Inspector Charity Mazula

Walter Mswazie, Masvingo Correspondent
ANGRY villagers teamed up with the police to hunt down three armed men who allegedly gang-raped a teacher at a school in Masvingo and force-marched her naked to the next school where they robbed and maimed other teachers.

The manhunt crew found two of the suspects hiding in some bushes and apprehended them on Wednesday.

A third gang member is still on the run.

The duo has police to thank for restraining villagers who wanted to mete out instant justice.

On Tuesday the three allegedly raided Rumwanda Secondary School in Zaka’s Chipinda resettlement area around 2AM.

A source at the school said a security guard at the school spotted the suspects and alerted the group that was hunting for them.

“He spotted the robbers near Mawuru business centre and two of them were apprehended and handed over to the police,” said the source.

Masvingo Police spokesperson Inspector Charity Mazula, without giving details of how the suspects were captured, said the two were assisting police with investigations.

“I can confirm that police have arrested two suspects in connection with the robbery incident which occurred at Rumwanda Secondary school in Zaka. We will soon conduct an identification parade where the victims are expected to identify the suspects,” said Insp Mazula.

She said the horrific incident was the second in Zaka District this year.  Five female teachers at Danda Primary School were severely assaulted, robbed and allegedly raped at night sometime in February.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has recommended that teachers who were attacked on Tuesday be taken for counselling.

Masvingo Provincial Education Director Mr Zadius Chitiga said the affected teachers were now living in perpetual fear.

He said the ministry was disturbed by such incidents and appealed to the law enforcers to be vigilant by tracking down all the culprits and bringing them to book.

“We have recommended that the affected teachers should undergo psychological counselling by our trained counsellors. We have the best therapists,” said Mr Chitiga. He urged the schools to ensure that there was tight security around their premises to avoid a repeat of the incident.

“I had the opportunity to meet some of the injured teachers and their condition is now stable. The incident is unfortunate and I urge school authorities to ensure that there is tight security around the premises,” he said.

A teacher at the school who asked not to be named said the staff were no longer feeling safe.

“The situation at the school is tense following Tuesday’s incident. Some lady teachers are contemplating applying for transfers,” said the teacher.

The armed robbers allegedly stripped and gang raped a teacher.

The assailants forced three teachers, including a maid to surrender cellphones and cash from their EcoCash wallets after forcing them to divulge their pin codes.

The female teacher was allegedly repeatedly raped by the gang who dragged her, while in her panties, for close to a kilometre to Rumwanda Primary School.

At the primary school the robbers wanted the female teacher to show them houses belonging to other female teachers, the source said.

It has also emerged that the daring robbers who were demanding cash from their victims also attacked a businessman, only identified as Mr Mawuru.

They allegedly shot him with a catapult on the forehead, leaving him seriously injured.

Source: The Chronicle

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