A SENIOR Zanu PF Filabusi district official has been arrested over the hijacking of two Zambian copper trucks in the Dete area in Matabeleland North province, which were later discovered parked at his plot in Matabeleland South region in a daring case of robbery, a police document says.
The document reveals that Arthur Nhliziyo, a Zanu PF chairman for Filabusi, is detained at Bulawayo Central Police Station, following his arrest over the theft of two trucks with 30 tonnes of copper and copper concentrate, whose value was not disclosed.
“Nhliziyo is currently in police detention. He was arrested after two hijacked trucks were found on his plot; one of them had its cargo still in there, but the other no longer had the copper,” it says. “The copper trucks had been hijacked in Dete. An investigation led to their discovery and recovery in Filabusi.”
According to the police document, two Zambian nationals Talent Maoko (28) and Kelvin Simbisai (34), were hijacked by five unknown assailants on the Victoria Falls highway from Zambia .
On 18 October, a case was received in Bulawayo after it was opened in Lupane Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The complainants were Maoko and Simbisai.
“What happened was that on 13 October, I was driving a truck registration number AKB 2616, pulling a trailer registration number 9422T, while Simbisai was driving a truck registration number BAD 7419, towing a trailer registration number BAD 8313T,” the document says.
“All trucks belonging to Galo Trans 9 Logistics based in Lusaka, Zambia, were driving in a convoy with 30 tonnes of copper each. When the trucks reached the Fatima area, Maoko pulled off after realising the other trucks had disappeared behind him. A Honda Fit then parked close to him. Two people, now the accused, disembarked from the car; one with a firearm which he aggressively pointed at him and robbed the truck driver. Three other men remained the car. The robbers then got into the truck and drove away.
After driving for a few kilometres, the police documents say the assailants stopped the truck and pulled off the road. Noticing that the truck had pulled off, Simbisai stopped to offer assistance to his colleague, unaware that the truck had been hijacked.
The unknown assailants immediately grabbed him, tied him up with shoelaces, blindfolded him and bundled him to the back of the truck before they took control of both trucks.
Along the way, the accused persons stopped the trucks and bundled both complainants into the Honda Fit.
The two were dumped at Uravhi business centre in Mashava inside one of the trucks.
“The accused persons had stolen both trailers with 30 tonnes copper, 30 tonnes copper concentrate, a bag containing various clothes, two gas stoves and two cell-phones. The total value stolen is yet to be ascertained. A report was then made at ZRP Mashava,” the police document says, adding that the tracking system on the trucks had been tampered with to avoid detection.
Acting on information, on 20 October CID Homicide officers from Bulawayo proceeded to Filabusi and raided Nhliziyo’s plot where they found two trailers parked in a bush with their numbers removed, leading to his arrest.
“The load on one of the trailers was still intact, while the other trailer had all its load stolen. The recovered trailers and the copper concentrate were taken to CID Homicide Bulawayo for further management,” police say.