Tobacco farmers targeted by armed robbers

Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau

Tobacco farmers in Mashonaland Central have become the target of armed robbers and the police have urged farmers to keep their hard-earned money in the bank and as plastic money.

Recently, at Batsirai village under Chief Nyamaropa, Green Bhaira (36), Bridget Nyakupfuka (34) and their 15-year-old daughter were sleeping when Timothy Chikomba (34) of the same village and nine others approached their homestead at around 9 pm.

Provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Major Samuel Chikasha said Chikomba called for Bhaira saying he was wanted for bailing tobacco belonging to Julias Chikuni.

Bhaira refused to open the door and the robbers broke down the door. Bhaira tried to fight back but was assaulted with an iron bar all over his body.

He escaped and went to his neighbour Lamech Chemusora (40) seeking assistance.

The robbers assaulted Nyakupfuka with an unknown object on the forehead demanding cach.

She gave them US$3 200 and the accused left.

When Bhaira came back with Chemusora the robbers were gone.

The matter was reported at Madziwa police base and Chikomba was picked up.

He is assisting police with investigations.

Bhaira and his wife sustained swollen foreheads and were taken to Shamva Hospital where they were treated and discharged.

In a similar case in Mt Darwin Sgt Major Chikasha said armed robbers pounced on Patricia Kadirire (43) of Kushinga village C under Chief Kandeya.

She was sleeping with her two children aged 10 and 3 when she was woken up by loud banging at the door at around 1 am.

The accused Luckmore Kimbili Murombedzi (32) of Hukama village under Chief Chihota in Chikomba and two others forcibly entered the house.

Kadirire and the children were sprayed with an unknown substance causing them temporary blindness.

They demanded US$4 000 which they said Kadirire received from tobacco sales and she offered US$735.

The robbers insisted that she had US$4 000 after selling tobacco.

While the accused loaded groceries from Kadirire’s tuckshop, the shopkeeper Petros Moffat untied himself and went to inform Paul Kamukombe who mobilised villagers.

The robbers who were on foot went to the Harare-Mukumbura highway with the loot and were looking for transport.

Murombedzi was apprehended while the others fled.

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