A Harare man and his friend were seriously injured after being caught up in a shoot-out between police and suspected armed robbers.
The man has since been identified as Kevin Guzah, while his lady friend has been identified as Kudzai. The two were understood to be driving their vehicle to Belgravia Sports Centre when the incident occurred.
Zimbabwe Republic Police chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said on Monday, at around 9.30pm, along the Harare-Mutare Road near Marondera, a Chinese and his business partner were attacked by armed robbers who shot at their vehicle, a Toyota Quantum, and stole $8 500 of bond notes.
The criminals, she said, forcibly took control of the Toyota Quantum and drove to Harare, while the other robbers were in their getaway vehicle, a Toyota Wish.
“On arrival at the complainant’s residence, the victims were force-marched into the house, where the robbers went on to steal US$6 000, which was in the house,” said Snr Asst Comm Charamba.
“A reaction team comprising the police and other agencies responded to the distress call, and when the criminals realised that they were surrounded, they started shooting indiscriminately.
“A motorist and a passenger, who were driving past the complainant’s residence were caught in crossfire. As a result, they were injured and taken to a local hospital for treatment.”
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said police managed to arrest one of the armed robbers and investigations were still in progress.
“We encourage motorists to be alert when travelling at night,” she said. “Members of the public should avoid keeping large sums of money at their residential or business premises.
“Money should be banked with financial institutions to curtail robbery incidents. Police are conducting operations to sniff out armed robbers and will not rest until such criminals are brought to book.”
Meanwhile, in an interview, Kevin’s sister, Nicole Guzah, said from the account she received from Kudzai, Kevin could have been shot after being mistaken for one of the armed robbers.
“At 10.48pm, I received a call from a screaming Kudzai saying she had been shot by the Chinese and that Kevin ran away and they were firing shots running after him,” she said.
Nicole said Kevin had gone to a food court to buy food when he came across the Chinese and the robbers exchanging gunfire. She said Kevin then sped off, but the Chinese followed his vehicle and fired shots, which first hit Kudzai on the leg.
Nicole said Kevin jumped out of the vehicle and ran towards a nearby food court, but he was followed by six other people who kept on firing at him.
“He was shot on the shin and pelvis and the men assaulted him when he fell down before they shoved him inside the boot of their vehicle after accusing him of being an armed robber,” she said.
Kevin’s brother, Keith Guzah (Jnr), on Tuesday wrote on his Facebook page saying: “How safe are we in ZIMBABWE? Yesterday (Monday) my brother Kevin was shot twice at Belgravia shops after he left KFC. . . This act was done by some type of armed Chinese security force that mistook him for being a robber? Do we draw arms based on assumptions? Is it legal to open fire in public? Why are these Chinese people so heavily armed?”
He said Kevin arrived in the country a week ago from China and that this was a case of mistaken identity. Kevin is a student at the North China University of Technology.