Armed robbers stormed Ginger Lilly lodge in Bulawayo and got away with cash and property worth US$11 630, including US$9 050 belonging to an Ethiopian gold dealer.
The incident happened last Wednesday night.
News Flash established from Sunday News that the robbers ended up pouncing on other guests at the lodge although it appears the Ethiopian and a compatriot, whom he had a business meeting with, were the initial targets
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube confirmed the incident.
Narrating how the incident occurred, Inspector Ncube said the security guard who doubles up as the night receptionist, had been told by the lodge owner to expect a client who wanted to book for the night.
When the robbers, who were in an unmarked BMW, drove up to the lodge, the security guard opened the gate for them as he assumed that the client he had been told to expect had arrived.
The motor vehicle which had three occupants drove in and stopped before crossing the threshold of the gate.
“Two male adults wearing jeans, covering their mouths with some clothes got out of their motor vehicle armed with pistols and demanded to be led to Rooms Four and Five to see Ethiopian occupants who had booked in the said rooms,” said Insp Ncube.
As the security guard led the robbers to the rooms occupied by the Ethiopians, one of the robbers took a detour when he realized that one of the rooms on the ground floor was unlocked.
As they were passing Room One which is situated on the ground floor, the accused found the door unlocked and one of the accused forced himself into the room pointing the gun around.
The occupants of the room, a male adult aged 33 and a male adult aged 34, of Imbizo 12, Kwekwe, resisted the attack by one of the accused prompting him to exit the room. The two occupants then locked themselves inside.
The two-armed robbers are alleged to have proceeded to Room Four where the Ethiopians were discussing their gold buying business and forced themselves in.
The door was forced open using a fire extinguisher tank which was installed on the wall and the accused persons got inside. They demanded cash from the two complainants but failed to get any after body searches were done on them.
After failing to find cash in one of the Ethiopians room, the robbers made their way into the other room where one of the gold dealers had left a woman.
One of the accused persons got out of Room Four, leaving his accomplice holding the two complainants hostage. He then proceeded to Room Five where one of the complainants was booked. He used a fire extinguisher to break the door to gain entry and found a lady inside the room.
He demanded money but she indicated that she did not have any. He then searched the room and took some cash amounting to US$9 050 inside a blue bag that was in a wall-fitted wardrobe belonging to one of the complainants.
As the robbers made their way downstairs, they ran into a guest that had come to check what the commotion was about. The two then reportedly bundled the guest into the same room with the Ethiopians and searched him at gunpoint, robbing him of US$580 and some personal documents.
Sunday News reports that at the lodge’s reception area, they stole a printer and three satellite decoders before driving off.