Prince Sunduzani, Chronicle Reporter
A MAN from Bulawayo impersonated a police officer before allegedly kidnapping two pupils from Mhali Primary School in Magwegwe suburb.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Precious Simango confirmed the incident which happened on Tuesday afternoon.
She said Brain Mademutse (29), who is believed to be mentally disturbed, impersonated a police officer and took the children to a nearby bush before he was stopped by an alert resident.
“The man, who is believed to be mentally disturbed, impersonated a police officer and took the children to a nearby bush before he was stopped by an alert resident,” said Insp Simango.
She said the suspect would appear in court soon.
Mademutse was allegedly intercepted as he led the Grade Five girls, whose parents are outside the country, towards a bushy area.
An alert resident got suspicious when he saw Mademutse leading the pupils away from the school.
He then followed Mademutse and asked him where he was taking the children.
Mademutse responded saying he was a cop and was taking them to the police station, which was in the opposite direction, for truancy.
“The resident got even more suspicious when he saw Brian furtively looking over his shoulder from time to time and he followed him to investigate,” said Ms Alice Ncube, one of the girls’ guardians.
“He then alerted other community members who meted out instance justice on him. They thoroughly beat him up before handing him over to the police.”
An uncle to the other girl, Mr Prince Ncube, said he was shocked when he heard that his niece had been kidnapped.
“I was at a funeral when the incident occurred and I was shocked when I got the information,” said Mr Ncube.
“It pained me a lot to hear that my niece had gone through such an ordeal”.
Ward 18 Councillor, Concillia Mlalazi, said residents told her about the incident.
Parents said they fear for their children’s lives as unusual crimes are now on the rise in Bulawayo.
“We are afraid that our children might be kidnapped as people are doing very strange things these days,” said Ms Busisiwe Moyo, a parent.
“These unusual crimes are now common and everytime we hear stories of people being kidnapped or killed.”
Another resident who identified herself as MaPhiri said she heard the issue from others but was worried as she also has children in school but cannot guarantee their safety 24/7.
Bulawayo Residents Association (BURA) Magwegwe chairperson Mr Philip Karanda also reiterated the residents’ sentiments adding that parents should always accompany their children to and from school.
“I was shocked as this has never happened in Magwegwe. We have heard these stories from Harare and other places,” said Mr Karanda.
“Parents should not let children go to school alone. I always emphasise that they should accompany their children to school to ensure their safety between home and school.” — | The Chronicle