Businessman Family Held at Gunpoint in Terrifying Ordeal
23 February 2024
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In a distressing event that has deeply unsettled the Umguza community in Matabeleland North, a local businessman, who has requested anonymity for safety reasons, endured a night of sheer terror when armed robbers invaded his shop last Wednesday.

The ordeal began with what the businessman described as “the unmistakable sound of a gun” that abruptly disturbed his sleep. Compelled by fear and concern, he made his way to the shop, only to be met with a scene far exceeding his worst fears. “I was greeted by the horrifying sight of my wife and children on the floor, with three armed men towering over them,” he recounted, still visibly shaken by the memory.

The situation quickly escalated when one of the intruders struck him on the back of the head with the butt of a pistol, threatening to shoot. “One of the gunmen hit me viciously on the back of the head and threatened to shoot me if I didn’t comply,” he said, recalling the terrifying moment.

Following their demands, the robbers instructed him to lie on the floor alongside his family. “They demanded cash and cellphones, leaving us no choice but to comply in fear for our lives,” he explained. The criminals managed to flee with US$100 and two cellphones, leaving the family in a state of shock and trauma.

The businessman immediately reported the incident to the police, leading to a swift investigation and the arrest of 32-year-old Makhosini Mathobela. “We are doing everything in our power to apprehend and prosecute those responsible for this heinous act,” a police spokesperson stated, confirming the ongoing efforts to track down the remaining suspects.

Mathobela, found in possession of a pistol, has been charged with armed robbery. He appeared before Bulawayo regional magistrate Dambudzo Malunga, pleading not guilty to the charges. “The accused has been remanded in custody until February 26, as we continue our investigation,” the magistrate announced, signaling the judiciary’s resolve in dealing with the case.

As the community reels from this shocking crime, the police’s commitment to finding the remaining culprits offers a glimmer of hope. “We will not rest until justice is served,” the police spokesperson assured, reflecting the community’s collective desire for peace and safety to be restored. This incident is a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities that exist, even in seemingly safe communities, and the importance of vigilance and unity in the face of adversity.