Zim Armed Robberies Spike, White Farmer Shot Dead

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Lawlessness is on the rise in Zimbabwe, especially in and around the capital city, Harare, where armed gangs are robbing and killing people in their houses.

Last week on Thursday armed robbers shot dead 44-year-old female commercial farmer Rene Mitchell at her Mantlavana Farm in Beatrice, about 50 km from the capital.

Reports suggest that Mitchell woke up around 2 am after hearing a disturbance outside her farmhouse.

Armed with a Bruno 22 rifle, Mitchell went outside to check what was causing the noise.

Unfortunately, Mitchell was ambushed from behind by armed intruders.

Mitchell was shot in the back. She died on the spot.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) said the cowardly murder involved at least two suspects.

A few days before Mitchell was shot dead, police said security guards were overpowered and robbed of US$60 360 (R962 742) at Tongogara Refugee Camp at Chipinge in Zimbabwe. The money was for refugee allowances.

The camp housing some 17 000 refugees is about 450 km from Beatrice, where Mitchell lost her life.

The ZRP said: “Armed robbers stole two trunks loaded with the allowances on Tuesday. Two unknown suspects armed with a pistol pounced on the security guards and took from them the vehicle keys, keys for the safe affixed to the vehicle, and a cellphone at gunpoint.”

Last month, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported that a Harare lawyer Joseph Nemaisa shot dead three robbers who had stormed his Chadcombe home in Harare. 

Nemaisa, a retired member of the ZRP Criminal Investigations Department (CID), shot the armed intruders who had held his family hostage earning him the moniker “John Wick” after the American movie hero who came out of retirement to take on the bad guys.

Daring armed robbers have also targeted buses travelling to and from South Africa. Passengers have been stripped of their clothes before their money and valuables were stolen.

The spike in armed robberies comes at a time when many Zimbabweans are unemployed.

The economy is on a downturn resulting in ever-rising costs of basic goods long beyond the reach of most people.

The Herald is reporting that President Emmerson Mnangagwa, “has noted the trend and warns armed robbers that their days are numbered”.