Editorial comment: Something fishy about Epworth robbery

FOUR armed robbers struck at a clinic and a school in Epworth on Good Friday and got away with US$18 000.

As we reported yesterday, Epworth Mission Clinic lost US$5000, while Epworth Methodist Academy School lost US$13 000.

The clinic and school are adjacent to each other.

A security guard, Takawira Mutamburiri (49), who was manning the premises was reportedly approached by the four unidentified men, who were wearing balaclavas, and holding iron bars. 

The four attacked Takawira and tied his hands and legs with shoelaces, searched him and took his Itel cellphone and US$25.

The robbers broke into the clinic, through the screen door, using some iron bars.

They then ransacked the room and stole cash amounting to US$5000, which was stashed in an unlocked safe. 

The robbers proceeded to Epworth Methodist Academy School.

They forced open the administration and the headmaster’s office doors with iron bars and gained entry. 

They ransacked the offices and found a safe in the headmaster’s office. 

They stole cash amounting to US$13 000 before fleeing. 

Harare provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Luckmore Chakanza, told us:

“Police are investigating two robbery cases at a clinic and a school in Epworth,” said Insp Chakanza.

“Scene was attended and a grinding blade was recovered and total value stolen is US$18 000.”

For us, the concern is that this is not the first armed robbery to hit such institutions in Epworth.

And, we believe this will not be the last.

All the robberies appear to follow a similar pattern.

The armed robbers approach the security guard, who is usually just a single man, and overpower him and then go on to execute their plans.

What we don’t understand is why, after all the robberies we have reported in the Epworth area, schools and clinics are still losing vast sums of money to armed robbers in identical fashion?

Why is it that we haven’t seen an increase, for instance, in the number of security guards who are supposed to be manning these premises?

Why is it that we still have a situation where just one security guard is assigned to man these premises when the threat of attacks from armed robbers is real?

Are we wrong to believe that there appears to be some sort of gangster partnership between these armed robbers and those who are in charge of these premises?

Is that the reason why the authorities, who are supposed to be in charge of these premises, appear to be reluctant to employ more security guards who will have the fire-power to match these armed robbers?

When we look at the two premises which were attacked, the pictures don’t give us any assurance that these are places where US$18 000 should be kept safely.

Why was this money not taken to the bank where it would have been safer and secure?

These are the questions that detectives should be asking those who are in charge of these premises because something just doesn’t sound right here.

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