Tout in dramatic highway robbery

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MUTARE – A group of suspected armed robbers hijacked a Zupco bus crew plying the Mutare-Plumtree route and robbed them of
$3 000 worth of goods and cash near Nyazura last Friday.

Manicaland acting provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Enock Chishiri, said the incident happened at the 87km peg along the Nyazura-Chivhu Road.

Chishiri said a Mutare-based rank marshal identified as Luke Madzinga, who is suspected to be a member of the gang, allegedly told the driver that one of the passengers on board wanted to be dropped off.

The purported passenger then demanded a refund.

“As he was quarrelling with the Zupco staff, a Toyota Corolla arrived and its occupants told the driver that one of them wanted to board the bus,” said Chishiri.

“One of the alleged robbers entered the bus armed with a pistol and ordered all the passengers to lie down. He fired one shot and the round hit the roof near the driver’s seat. Three other members of the gang entered the bus armed with machetes and demanded cash and cellphones from the passengers.”

“The robbers took 18 cellphones and cash amounting to $1 191 from passengers.”

The gang allegedly confronted the bus conductor and robbed him of $1 500. After collecting their loot with the assistance of the tout, the group got off the bus and sped off in their getaway car.

Madzinga was arrested near the scene a few hours later, but his alleged accomplices are still at large. Madzinga is expected to appear in court soon.