A man from Cowdray Park suburb in Bulawayo sustained injuries after he was shot in the leg by police officers who were chasing an armed robbery suspect.
The incident happened on Friday around 8 PM and the man is currently admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital.
An eyewitness, Tedious Masina, said the man, Nkazimulo Ndimande, caught a stray bullet from shots that were being fired by the police officers.
Masina said after Ndimande was shot, the officers took him to a local clinic and paid the bills incurred, and he was later moved to Mpilo, where a little while after arrival, a different crew of policemen came and said he was a suspect in an armed robbery case and would be placed under police custody.
“It was around 8 PM. We were inside the barbershop when there was commotion outside. We heard a gunshot, and then a second one followed shortly after. People were running all over and screaming. A total of four shots were fired during the incident,” he narrated.
“Ndimande then went outside to see what was happening. A third shot was fired. He came back inside and that was when I saw that he had been shot in the thigh. I tied him with a cable of one of my scissors and called an ambulance.”
Masina said as they waited for the ambulance to arrive, he saw some of the police officers making their way to their cars that were parked adjacent to the barbershop.
“I saw the cops approaching their cars. They had two of them, a white Toyota Fortuner and a Honda Fit. I called them and told them they had shot my friend. They carried him into the Fortuner and took us to Bulawayo West Hospital, a surgery that is at the (Cowdray Park) terminus,” he said.
“They told us they were from Homicide. They then called other officers from Cowdray Park police base and they came to the surgery. They are the ones who paid all the bills for the expenses incurred. The ambulance later arrived and took Ndimande to Mpilo.
“When we got to Mpilo, we saw different police officers from the ones we had initially interacted with. They ordered us to leave the room. They had a big book with them. When they came to us they said Ndimande was on their wanted list for a case of armed robbery. They had already cuffed him to the bed and left one officer to guard him. What we could not understand was how they came to that conclusion. Ndimande is not someone who is of such behaviour. We know him and he cannot be associated with armed robbery.”
Ndimande’s sibling said they were shocked as a family to hear of such news.
“We were surprised when we saw him being cuffed and alleged to be part of an armed robbery gang. As it is we know nothing. The police have not yet talked to us about anything and the elders are not here either. We have communicated with them so we are waiting for them to come and find a way of handling the matter.”
In a statement, National Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said Ndimande was part of a four-man gang that was being chased for armed robbery.
“On May 25, 2023, detectives from CID Homicide, Bulawayo arrested Vusumuzi Mguni for a case of robbery which occurred at a certain homestead at Zangewani Village, Sigola, Umguza on 10th May 2023 and a warrant of arrest of armed robbery which occurred at Council for the Blind Bulawayo,” Ass Comm Nyathi said.
“The suspect implicated, Nkazimulo Ndimande Nyoni, Uyapho Ndlovu (who is on remand at Khami Prison for other robbery cases), Prosper Moyo alias Professor, Prince Dube and Mukaya. Mguni led the detectives to Hawkflight Terminus where Nkazimulo Ndimande, Nyoni was arrested after a shootout.”
Nyathi said the arrest led to the recovery of a gas operated pellet gun, two axes, a machete, a bolt cutter, two pairs of school shoes, a bag, groceries and several balaclavas.
“Mguni further led the detectives to the arrest of other suspects, Mbekezeli Moyo and Andile Mudana, leading to the recovery of groceries, cosmetics, blankets, kango pots and various clothing, among other valuables,” he said.
“They are linked to a robbery case which occurred on 11th April 2023 at a certain house in Lovedale Bulawayo, where US$ 785.00, and ZAR 1300.00 cash, beer, two cellphones, meat and fish were stolen, and another robbery case which occurred on 12th April 2023 at a certain house in Mundane, Bulawayo where US$44.00 and ZAR350-00 and other valuables worth US$700.00 were stolen.”
Nyathi said the suspects also cleared a case of robbery which occurred on May 23, 2023 at a certain house along Gilchrist Road, Norwood, Bulawayo where the complainant was attacked before household goods, two cellphones and groceries were stolen.