Armed robbers attack priest, steal church vehicle

Four armed assailants allegedly attacked a Bulawayo church early Thursday morning, assaulting a priest and seminarian before driving off in the church’s truck.

On the same night, the same robbers also attacked a lady at the House of Liberty Christian church in the same suburb where they got away with a generator and cash. 

Bulawayo Police Acting spokesperson, Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele confirmed the incidents. 

Asst Insp Msebele said at the Holy Trinity Parish in Cowdray Park, the armed robbers broke into the priest’s house armed with axes and machetes.  

“At around 2 am, the complainant, a male adult aged 48 of Cowdray Park, was awakened by four male accused persons who broke into the house armed with axes and machetes. The accused persons were knocking on his bedroom door ordering him to open the door. As he opened the door, the accused persons slapped him on his face threatening him and demanding cash,” she said. 

“The accused persons then ransacked the complainant’s bedroom, they took a cashbox which was in the wardrobe containing an amount of money which is yet to be ascertained. They also took the complainant’s wallet which had usd$120-00 and his Samsung A14 cellphone. They then demanded motor vehicle keys and the complainant gave them keys to a white Isuzu single cab pickup truck which had about 30 litres of diesel, reg number AFD0450.” 

Asst Insp Msebele said the robbers proceeded to the seminarian’s room where they demanded cash before force-marching him to the priest’s bedroom. 

“The accused persons then proceeded to another spare bedroom where they found a male adult aged 32 years sleeping, they also threatened him and force marched him to the complainant’s bedroom. The accused persons used a pair of handcuffs which they had to cuff together and instructed the two to sit down, they then drove away leaving them cuffed. A police report was made.” 

She said at House of Liberty Christian Church, they found a female adult sleeping. 

“The complainant, a female adult aged 40 was asleep in her bedroom at a church house when she was awakened by a noise at the main door. She proceeded there to check what was happening and she met the three accused persons who were already inside the house. They were armed with a machete, iron bar and a kitchen knife which they took inside the house. They assaulted her with a fist on the face threatening to kill her and went on to demand cash from her.,” she said. 

“The accused persons force marched the complainant back into her bedroom and ransacked the house. They took away US$150 which was inside the monarch suitcase and various clothing. They proceeded to the main church and forcibly opened the door using an unknown object and took away a yellow generator and black amplifier and went away. A police report was made, and the total value of stolen property cost US$800.” 

Asst Inspector Msebele urged churches to guard their premises, not to keep large sums of money, use cash box facility offered by reputable security companies also not publicly announce the daily taking during services.

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