Margaret Matibiri Herald Reporter
A gang of four robbers armed with pistols and iron bars pounced on Kunaka Hospital in Dema near Harare on Friday last week where they assaulted staff, including nurses, before disappearing with a Toyota Landcruiser belonging to the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
They also stole about $2 300 and mobile phones.
The Herald is reliably informed that the robbers drenched one of the nurses with petrol and threatened to set her ablaze if she failed to comply with their demands. They reportedly first assaulted the driver of the Landcruiser as he was about to leave the premises at around 8pm and took away the car keys.
The criminals battered the driver with iron bars on the head and all over the body until he lost consciousness. Manyame Rural District Council chief executive officer Ms Farirai Guta confirmed the incident.
“It is true that there was an armed robbery case at the hospital,” she said. “The robbers beat up the driver, who was just about to leave the hospital with iron bars and they dragged him into the consultation room where the other staff was on duty,” she said.
“The quartet had guns which they pointed at the two female nurses who were on duty.” The robbers assaulted the nurses, demanding to be shown where money was kept. They also assaulted a security guard. The robbers then tied their victims and assaulted them with iron bars before driving off in the Landcruiser.
“The matter was reported to police and we are happy that the vehicle belonging to the Ministry of Health and Child Care was recovered in Epworth,” said Ms Guta.
When The Herald news crew visited the hospital, it was temporarily closed and only attending to maternity patients.