Zimbabwe’s Beitbridge town came to a standstill on Thursday, when a suspected armed robber held 10 people hostage at a house in Dulibadzimu suburb forcing the police to gun him down after a 14 hour impasse. The man, known in the surbub as Kedha was fatally shot around 2 pm after negating to calls from the police to surrender following an exchange of fire with the police since 12 midnight on Wednesday. The suspect is alleged to have been involved in several robberies in the town, Musina, Limpopo River, and major highway robberies. “The gun exchange started after midnight when most people were dead asleep. We just heard the noise and went out to investigate and were told by cops to remain indoors,” said a neighbor. The police told them they wanted to arrest a suspect who had heavy firepower and urged them to stay out of sight to avoid injuries. “After being disturbed by the gunshots, most people went outside and found the police surrounding the house across the street and later learned that a dangerous criminal was hiding and evading arrest,” said one Tonde. The atmosphere was tense in most streets, with some people watching from afar in fear of stray bullets, as the suspected armed robber was said to be spraying bullets at free will. He also tried to burn the house to fake his own suicide, but the cops would have none of his tricks and kept waiting for him to surrender. Most of the tenants were visibly shaken and said they needed some days before they can start making comments. “I am still shocked this young couple started living here two weeks ago. We never knew the husband was a criminal,” said one female tenant. Police had to throw tear gas canisters to suffocate the criminal, He then moved from house to house firing back and was later shot in a room close to the toilet. The body was taken to a local mortuary and the police barred ordinary people from entering the scene. The police spokesperson for Matabeleland South, Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele could not be reached for a comment with his phone continually engaged.
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News