A SUSPECTED robber, fleeing a crime scene, drowned in a 30-metre unprotected water well on Saturday night while his teenage accomplice escaped death by spreading his legs and hands and clinging to the wall of the well.
He was then rescued by Blessed Manyika, 30, the person they had robbed, who had chased them in a bid to recover his property. As they ran, Busani Ncube, 30, and Mthokozisi Sibanda, 18, fell into the well near Sunnyside suburb in Bulawayo.
Ncube’s body was only pulled out of the well yesterday, nearly 22 hours later, while Sibanda was rescued by his victim and taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals.
Sibanda was later discharged from the hospital and is now in police custody.
Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Mandlenkosi Moyo confirmed the incident.
“Yes we’re investigating the case where the robbers who, after robbing their victim, fell into a well. One drowned and the one who survived is going to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
All for the love of a quick buck, Sibanda, and Ncube, allegedly pounced on an unsuspecting Manyika of Romney Park, robbing him of his cellphone and a wallet containing $13.
Manyika had just disembarked from a commuter omnibus coming from the city centre at a Zuva Service Station around 6PM on his way home. He bravely gave chase forcing the duo to run into a bushy area between Sunnyside and Paddonhurst in the hope of getting away with the loot.
The Chronicle arrived at the well at around 4PM yesterday and witnessed members of the police sub aqua unit, Bulawayo City Council Fire Brigade and How Mine Rescue Team pulling the body to the surface.
BCC Fire Brigade Senior Divisional Officer, Linos Phiri said they were called to the scene on Saturday evening around 6:30PM and when they arrived Sibanda had already been rescued.
He said efforts to recover Ncube’s body on Saturday evening were in vain and they left at around 11PM.
Phiri said they returned on Sunday morning and had to use a submersible water pump to drain water out of the flooded well before they pulled out the body.
“When we got here, residents had rescued Sibanda and we tried to rescue Ncube to no avail. We aborted the rescue mission which we commenced in the morning (yesterday) before we finally pulled out his body around 4:30PM,” said Phiri.
A shaken Manyika told a Chronicle news crew that he was walking home when the two approached him. They attacked him and robbed him of his wallet which had $13 cash, his cell phone and his particulars.
He said he realised that one of them was a young man and decided to give chase in the hope of getting his property back.
“I chased them and they ran into this bushy area. I could see them in front of me but before I knew it, I heard a splash, a sound of an object falling into water,” said Manyika.
He said he went close and heard a voice screaming for help. Manyika said he then realised that it was a well and that the two robbers had fallen into it.
“I went closer and one of them who was looking up saw me and pleaded with me to assist them. He even apologised for having stolen my things,” he said.
Manyika said he then went to Shepard Dere’s house, which is close to the bush and asked for assistance to rescue the duo.
Dere said as they were watching football with his friends on Saturday night, Manyika came knocking at his house telling them that some people had fallen into a well.
He said they took some electric cords and headed to the area where they found Sibanda hanging on all fours on the sides of the well.
Dere said the teenager had not fallen very far from the opening of the well.
“We found Sibanda hanging on like Superman (the movie character). He was holding on with his hands and legs spread out clinging on to the wall of the well. So we threw in the cords and rescued him before we handed him over to the police,” he said.Chronicle