Three suspects who burnt a vendor, stabbed and kidnapped her arrested

Danisa Masuku

THREE suspected illegal miners who severely burnt a vendor with  cooking oil and assaulted her before stabbing her and kidnapping her have been arrested.

Bulawayo Police Spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the arrest of the three suspects-Taboga Sithole (25), Percy Mutare (26) and Average Makopa (34) and they are all from Magwegwe North suburb.

He said: “Sithole, Mutare and Makopa were arrested after one of the residents spotted them at their home where they stay together and alerted police leading to their arrest.”

Insp Ncube commended members of the public for supplying police with information which lead to the arrest of the trio.

A source close to the incident said while Tracy Phuthi (30) was busy at her stall on Thursday evening, Mutare, Sithole and Makopa descended on her stall.

It is said Makopa bought fish but Mutare demanded fish for free.

“While she was selling her stuff and fish at her stall, Makopa bought fish and ate it. Makopa and Sithole returned to the bar. Mutare remained and took the fish and refused to pay. After that he told Phuthi that if she wanted her money she should follow him inside the bar but she refused,” said the source.

Mutare dashed inside the bar and called Sithole and Makopa who swiftly came out.

“Mutare grabbed a frying pan with hot cooking oil and tried to hit her with it but she blocked it and the cooking oil spilled on her left hand and severely burnt her. Mutare was also burnt. After that, they took turns punching and kicking her. They also stabbed her,” said the source.

The suspects allegedly threatened to kill her and dragged her to a dark spot where they further severely attacked her.

“The incident unfolded in full view of residents and when they dragged her to a dark spot no one came to her rescue, leaving her being mercilessly attacked by suspects who threatened to kill her but she told them that she has a minor child and she would give them a Honda Fit car, in exchange of her freedom ” said a resident who requested not to be named in fear of being victimised.

While they were on the way to her home some youths in the suburb got suspicious seeing the woman sobbing and followed them.

“One of the suspects took out a big knife from his jacket’s pocket threatening to stab them, after that they walked for a short distance and dumped the child in front of a primary school gate, and fled. The residents took the baby to the woman’s home and the woman in question was rushed to Mpilo Central Hospital where she was admitted for medical attention,” said the source.

A source at Mpilo Central Hospital said drama ensued at the health institution when Mutare, who was in the queue to receive treatment fled when he saw his victim.

“Hospital staff and patients were left surprised when they saw Mutare who was burnt on the hands and neck running away and no one attempted to chase after him,” said a source at the hospital.

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