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Bus driver missed by gun shots, passengers sjamboked

by Staff reporter
04 Feb 2017 at 14:35hrs | Views

IN typical movie style, A and A Logistics Bus Crew and passengers were robbed in Ngundu on their way from Beitbridge.

The incident took place around 2am yesterday after four men, who were on the bus, turned against the crew and fellow passengers.

Three of the men had guns and they are said to have boarded the bus just like ordinary passengers before they assaulted, sprayed at and robbed bus crew and passengers of valuables.

The case was recorded at Masvingo Central Police Station RRB number 2953597.

Victims of the robbery narrated the spine chilling incident to H-Metro.

John Kudakwashe Svosve said:

"I boarded the bus at the Beitbridge rank around 11pm and I think the bus left the rank around midnight for Harare.

"I was a standing passenger in the bus and some other passengers also came into the bus, they were four and they stood in front of me in the passage way.

"When they (the armed robbers) got into the bus, no one suspected anything but as the bus left the rank; I think around 2am we had passed the Ngundu road block when one of the four said he had been called by people he was supposed to have gone with.

"And when the driver stopped the bus, three of the guys followed him.

"We thought the three were maybe going to relieve themselves, then one of them fired shots aiming for the driver and it hit the windscreen, then they fired again.

"We had thought they were wearing woolen hats, it turned out that they were face masks and they started spraying us with some substances. Three of the guys had guns and of those, only two came into the bus.

"Apart from the guns, they also had sjamboks and they ordered everyone to lie down as they demanded all valuables.

"People had to surrender cellphones and cash. The robbers were however, assaulting everyone who was resisting," said John who was trembling.

He added, "I had to lie on the legs of people who were on nearby seats, I managed to save two of my smart phones, cash and my wallet after I hid them in the seat covers.

"I only remained with my simple phone which is not a smart phone and only US$2.

"They started moving in the bus with plastic bags, ordering everyone to put all the valuables into the plastic bags.

"Those who were resisting were being heavily assaulted and to show how dangerous they were, they dragged the conductor outside the bus where they started assaulting him.

"They undressed him and they came back into the bus and they continue to demand more.

"When they were done, they told the driver to start the bus saying if he was not to comply, they would deflate the tyres by shooting at them, that's how we drove off.

"Unfortunately, we only saw a road block at the Chivi turn off, and they told us to go to Masvingo Police Station and the cops managed to recover some cartridges," said John.

John who looked traumatised, said he was actually in physical contact with one of the robbers, "umwe wacho ndatembenge ndagumhanha naye."

"When they were speaking, they were using Shona but with Ndebele accent, but then when they were leaving, they were now using Ndebele.

"When I saw them putting on their face masks, I remembered the advice that we always get from the police that when there is an armed robbery, you should comply with all demands so it was really traumatic.

"Pandatorerwa phone yangu kambudzi neUS$2 ndipo pavati mudhara unafamba nemari yakawanda, ndipo pavabva vandisprayer mumaziso.

"The substance which they sprayed on me is very irritating not only on the eyes but even on the skin, as you can see; I still have the stains of spray.

"I'm still in shock because as you can see, I'm still trembling because they sprayed direct in my eyes. We thank God for life.

"When they told us to lie down, I lied down on pressing against one woman's baby such that she told me to move.

"But I told her kuti ambuya ndikangosimudza musoro chete ndafa, hausimukudzike musoro, asi ndanzwa tsitsi nemwana wandange ndakatsikirira,hapana zvandaiita.

"Pazoitawo amai vamwe vazokurumidza kufunga vazosimudza mwana uya uya mbichana mbichana, inini ndichisimukirawo zvishoma."

Another victim, Tendai Karimazondo said "when these men said they wanted to disembark, we thought they were relieving themselves, but they dragged the conductor out and two started assaulting the conductor.

"The other two then sprayed the whole bus as they also started assaulting people, I was so terrified that I gave them my bag which had a tablet phone.

"I really lost out because the phone was an order for my customer, it was valued R1000 and that customer has been calling me asking me about the phone."

The driver of the bus said he was too traumatised to talk about his ordeal, as he only said "they aimed gun shots at me but I'm lucky to be alive. Ndini wavange vachida kupfuura."

The conductor of the bus Amin Madi said he had been severely assaulted saying that he was lucky to be alive.

"Vandirova nechamboko, chavakaruka vega chewaya.

"Ndiri kurwadziwa asi ndotenda Mwari ndiri mupenyu," he said.

Another woman said she almost jumped from the bus when the robbers had fired the two shots.

"They told me that if I was to jump off, they were going to kill me," she said.

Tsitsi Makumbinde said "we boarded the same bus with these people in Beitbridge but we did not know that they were thieves, they were four.

"Just out of Beitbridge they instructed the driver to stop the bus. For some time I thought there was something wrong with the bus.

"Immediately, I saw those four men wearing masks, they sprayed the whole bus with an unknown substance and everyone started coughing uncontrollably.

"They had two plastic bags and they instructed everyone in the bus to hand over money as well as cellphones.

"I was left with mine because I hid it under the seat, but almost everyone surrendered their cellphones and money.

"That is when they grabbed the conductor, stripped him off his clothes and assaulted him; it was so bad that we thought he was going to die.

"He sustained some injuries but he has not yet visited the hospital.

"The other men who were seated on the back seat were also assaulted.

"Lastly they enquired from the driver if he did not sustain any injuries and he told them he was alright that's when they told him to drive us to Harare and they got off the bus," she said.

Tsitsi added:

"We reported the matter in Masvingo, at Chibi Turnoff, they wrote a report for us and because we did not have any money we did not pay anything at any road block or tollgate.

"At the police station, we reported that a certain lady was spotted calling the four men advising them that the bus was about to take off at Beitbridge.

"The police said they will carry out investigations. They (robbers) did not take any of our luggage they only took money and cellphones," added Tsitsi.

Source - hmetro