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Armed robbers raid Lomagundi College

In a statement yesterday, Lomagundi chairman Ntando Sibanda said the armed robbers attacked the institution at around 8:30pm.

A GROUP of 10 masked armed robbers on Tuesday this week ambushed a security team at Lomagundi College (LC) in Chinhoyi and assaulted the school deputy headmaster and five guards.

In a statement yesterday, Lomagundi chairman Ntando Sibanda said the armed robbers attacked the institution at around 8:30pm.

He said the robbers disarmed the security guards before holding the six hostage.

“At about 2030 Hours last night [9 January 2024] our main gate security team was ambushed by a group of 10 masked armed robbers who disarmed them of their weapons and held them hostage by the gate guard room,” Sibanda said.

“They then ambushed Mr Masombo, our LC Deputy Head, as he returned back to campus after having driven to town earlier that evening.

“They then forced Mr Masombo and five security guards to the LC administration block where they were tied up and made to sleep on the floor after having broken the alarm system and all the offices doors.”

Sibanda said the robbers broke into all the administration offices and destroyed all the fixed and movable safes at the school.

Meanwhile, the college advised parents and guardians that no school fees funds were taken because they are kept off site.

However, they suspect that an undisclosed amount of money was lost in the robbery including personal funds from staff kept in their respective offices.

“A number of laptops and other assets of value were taken and we are still to establish these once staff members have been interviewed.

“The robbers then got away with using Mr Masombo’s vehicle, took guns from the security team and took with them Mr Masombo’s phone and a few other phones belonging to the security team,” Sibanda said.

He said the school team untied themselves before reporting the robbery to the police.

Sibanda said the administration block had been temporarily sealed off to allow the police to carry out their investigations.

He also assured parents and guardians that all children and staff members were safe and well-accounted for, while the school programmes would proceed as normal.

Meanwhile, police yesterday urged school authorities to deposit all monies at financial institutions to curb armed robbery cases.

In a statement yesterday, police national spokesperson Assistant Commission Paul Nyathi said collecting cash by school authorities should be reconsidered in view of recent armed robbery cases.

“The police has recorded armed robbery cases in Bulawayo and Chinhoyi in which schools are being targeted,” he said.

Nyathi said unknown suspects pounced at George Silundika High School in Bulawayo on Saturday last week and stole US$17 280 cash which was in a cash box.

He confirmed that the Lomagundi College robbers stole an undisclosed amount of cash, a Mazda Tribute motor vehicle, cellphones and laptops among other valuables.

Nyathi also called on authorities to step up security measures at schools and employ guards from reputable security service providers who constantly monitor and review deployments.

“Above all, school authorities should install CCTV [closed-circuit television] at points of entry and administration offices. The Zimbabwe Republic Police is concerned that some of these robbery cases are resulting from leakage of information.

“Members of the public are warned that those who provide inside information to robbery syndicates will be arrested. Police crack teams are firm on the ground and will pounce on armed robbery syndicates for the law to take its course in earnest,” he said.

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