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A GANG of five men ambushed a malayitsha vehicle, looted groceries, robbed a passenger of R19,000 and took turns to rape a female passenger in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park Suburb.
Six people — three of them men — were in the vehicle when the thugs struck on Tuesday night.
The attack came barely three days after a similar incident in which a woman was gang-raped by three men in the same suburb on Saturday.
The malayitsha in the Tuesday incident had allegedly tried to avoid a police roadblock by taking a shortcut along a disused road into the suburb.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango said more officers had been deployed to the suburb.
“The six were coming from South Africa being driven by umalayitsha. In trying to evade a police roadblock which was manned along Victoria Falls Road they tried to use a disused road connecting Cowdray Park from Nyamandlovu,” said Insp Simango.
She said the umalayitsha asked for directions from two men.
“The two men offered to show them the way. They even asked for a lift so that they could direct them. However the two were part of the gang who attacked the motorists. They led them to the other three who were lying in wait,” she said.
Insp Simango said the five threatened to kill the six travellers.
“The men tried to escape, leaving the women behind. The robbers gave chase and caught one of them. They robbed one of the women of R19,000 and the five of them took turns to rape another,” said Insp Simango.
The gang allegedly told the terrified women that they had selected the prettiest for rape.
Insp Simango expressed concern over the abuse of women, saying criminals were exposing them to HIV. “We’re concerned with the attacks on motorists in Cowdray Park. What’s even worse is that women are being raped and these criminals are taking turns to rape women. There are high chances that they’re not using protection,” she said.
Insp Simango said police recovered some of the stolen groceries stashed in the bush the following morning.
She said although more police officers have been deployed on the ground, motorists should desist from using shortcuts and disused roads.
“If they had used the designated roads this couldn’t have happened. We strongly urge motorists to stop using bushy areas as this exposes them to criminals,” she said.
Insp Simango said police were working flat out to keep members of the public safe from criminals.
“We shall soon catch these criminals. We want members of the public to feel safe when using our roads,” said Simango.
The road, connecting Cowdray Park with Nyamandlovu, has become a crime hotspot with at least six motorists being attacked and robbed there in recent weeks. by Nqobile Tshili. source-chronicle