Woman burnt with hot cooking oil, kidnapped …offers Honda Fit not to be killed

Danisa Masuku

A WOMAN from Bulawayo’s Magwegwe North suburb was severely burnt with cooking oil and attacked before she was allegedly kidnapped by three suspected illegal miners who wanted to take fried fish that she was selling without paying.

The incident happened yesterday in Magwegwe North suburb near the shops shortly after 10pm. Bulawayo Police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident.

“I can confirm the incident and investigations are in progress,” he said.

Tracy Phuthi (30) is a vendor selling fish, fried chips, and other items. A source close to the incident said while Phuthi was busy at her stall, Percy Mutare (age not supplied) and his two accomplices who are suspected illegal miners descended on her stall.

The source said Mutare’s colleague bought fish and the other colleague demanded fish for free.

“While she was selling her stuff at her stall one of Mutare’s friends bought fish and ate it. Then their other friend came and took the fish and refused to pay. He went inside a bar and told her that if she wanted her money she should follow her but she refused,” said the source.

The illegal miner dashed inside the bar and called Mutare and their other friend before  Mutare grabbed a frying pan to assault her.

“Phuthi blocked the frying pan and the cooking oil spilled on her left hand and severely burnt her. After that, they took turns punching and kicking her. They also stabbed her,” said the source.

The illegal miners 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 Otsheketsha who threatened to kill her but she told them that she has a minor child and she would give them a Honda Fit car,” 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.

“Otsheketsha took a big knife 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.

Mutare and his accomplices are yet to be arrested.

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