Forget Chuck Norris or Clint Eastwood’s fictitious heroics on the big screen.
This was a live robbery incident in which one Macheke homeowner and his hapless family found themselves at the mercy of seven armed men in the dead of night December 28 last year.
Like the father of the home, Shepherd Haruzivi (41) of Springfield in Macheke had to act, but this was at a heavy cost of losing his 10-month-old daughter, Moreblessing, the last-born daughter, who has since been buried.
The couple has three more kids who were all inside the house with members of his extended family.
Haruzivi narrates the ordeal, “It was around 1am and we were all asleep when these robbers attacked us. I do not know what they used to open the front door, but they twisted and burnt the lever, and the door gave in.
“Some of the robbers proceeded to where one of my relatives Nimrod Chirenda was sleeping and pointed a gun at him, threatening and eventually forced him to sit down,” recalled Haruzivi.
He explained how some of the thieves came straight to the door of the room where he, his wife Dephine Makokoba (32) and a 10-month-old baby were sleeping and broke it.
“One of them opened fire while demanding money. ‘Hatibve pano sisina mari’, they shouted.
“They fired more shots and one of the bullets shot my child who was sleeping on the bed, killing her instantly while the other one hit my wife and seriously injuring her.
“I then fired back at them, and that is when they retreated and rushed outside. While out of the house, they continued firing through the bedroom and dinning window breaking windowpanes.
“Everyone here was scared while my wife was crying after our daughter was killed.”
But that was not the end of their nightmare yet.
Haruzivi said he instructed his family to remain indoors since the robbers were still around and firing gun shots at them.
The robbers rushed to their getaway car, but surprisingly came back into Haruzivi’s yard and started firing more shots.
Haruzivi continued, “I remained inside the house when they had all rushed outside. I slowly moved and hid behind the front door.
“The robbers then ran to their vehicle which was parked outside the gate, and they drove into the yard and started firing again.
“They parked the vehicle facing the front door with lights on. They used the car lights to see everywhere since there was no electricity and they had dropped their torches which they had before.
“They continued firing.
“I was hiding behind the door and managed to fire back at their vehicle. That is when they drove out at high speed and vanished into the darkness.”
Reports were made to the police who quickly responded and tracked the robbers down.
The robbers probably did not know the vehicle they had stolen was fitted with a powerful tracking system, and the device sold them out.
Detectives launched a manhunt and managed to intercept them at Virginia farm, a few kilometres from Macheke.
The daring robbers engaged in yet another furious shootout with police.
Feeling the intensity of the heat, they abandoned their getaway car and took to their heels.
When police inspected the car, they discovered that there were blood stains inside, indicating that one of the robbers was hit and injured.
Police dog section was roped in and the manhunt continued resulting in one of the robbers, Gift Nhema being caught.
Five others were later arrested and have appeared in court facing charges of murder, attempted murder and attempted robbery.
They were denied bail.
The seventh one is still at large.
They are Panganai (36), Pearson (29) and Brian (38) Machipisa from Units L and O in Chitungwiza, Trust Sakavengwa (37) of Unit P, Chitungwiza, Clemence Muterengwende (38) of Murisa Village under Chief Seke and Gift Nhema (32) of ward 8, Madish, Shamva.
Haruzivi said he was hurt by the ordeal.
“Honestly, I am hurt, losing my child in those circumstances. I am in pain; we are all in pain. My only wish is that these people who did this face justice. They should rot in jail,” he said. Additional information taken from The Herald.