By Albert Nxumalo
A former soldier was on Tuesday evening nabbed while attempting to rob an elderly woman at gun point at her residence in Lobengula West, Bulawayo police have said.
Ian Sibanda, a former staff sergeant in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) together with his accomplice Learnmore Kwari stormed the house at around 6pm armed with a star pistol which had one live round.
The woman is said to have recently sold a house for US$20000 and Sibanda and Kwari had gotten wind of the deal, Acting Bulawayo province Press and Public Relations officer , Assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele said.
“On 10 November 2020 at around 1830 hours, the complainant was at her place of residence in the sitting room with her three grandchildren. The accused persons parked their dark green BMW registration number ADB 6150 on the side of the road near the complainant`s neighbour.
“The two accused persons were putting on caps and face masks which only exposed the eyes. They knocked on the back door of complainant’s house. One of the complainant`s grandchildren opened the door and the accused persons entered the house. At that time the other grandchild was taking a bath,” said Asst Insp Msebele in a statement.
“The accused ex-staff sergeant Ian Sibanda was holding a star pistol serial number unknown, proceeded to the sitting room where the complainant was seated watching television and pointed the firearm at her.
“At that time the complainant managed to escape from the house calling for help from the neighbors. Accused, Learnmore Kwari gave chase to stop her from alerting the neighbours. Ex staff sergeant Ian Sibanda demanded cash from the complainant indicating that the complainant had recently sold a house.”
Msebele said it was at this point that one of the grandchildren who had just finished bathing heard the commotion and went to investigate.
“The grandchild armed himself with a golf stick, tiptoed to the dining room and struck Sibanda `s hand which was holding the gun. The gun fell to the ground and they wrestled.
“The neighbours heard the noise and rushed to the scene. Amongst the neighbours were Constable Sheilla Mudzimureka, a female police officer who is stationed at ZRP Luveve and Constable Mhande of ZRP Magwegwe (NFPK). Upon realising that neighbours were coming Learnmore kwari ran away from the scene. Neighbours entered the house and found the family members wrestling with ex staff sergeant Ian Sibanda.”
Msebele said when Sibanda was arrested they searched him and recovered BMW car keys in his pockets.