Suspected member shot in mugging gone wrong
Tati Town Police in Francistown are on the trail of three young men suspected to be part of a dangerous Blue Town gang.
The gang are believed to be behind a number of muggings in and around Blue Town and Area S – the latest of which backfired painfully for one of the alleged members, who ended up in hospital after being shot in the leg by an angry ‘victim’.
Doctors have since told the injured man, 23-year-old Kocha Kobanji, they will not be able to save his leg.
To add insult to his injury, Kobanji has been arrested in connection with the incident.
According to Tati Town, Officer in Charge Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Superintendent Lawrence Nthoiwa, they suspect Kobanji was one of four men who attacked a couple in Blue Town recently.
Nthoiwa revealed the couple had been parked outside a friend’s house at around midnight when four young men suddenly emerged from the darkness and charged towards their car.
“They opened both doors and dragged the lady outside and robbed her of her cellphone and cash. As she ran for dear life they went back to the man inside the car and also took his cellphone and cash,” said Nthoiwa.
The top cop further told The Voice that the robbery victim immediately went out on a mission to search for the four youths who robbed him and his girlfriend.
“He found them and a scuffle ensued and in the process one of the suspects was shot and seriously wounded.
“At this time I cannot reveal the identity of the shooter because that would put his life in danger. I can, however, confirm that we have arrested Kocha Kobanji, who was shot by the victim,” continued Nthoiwa, adding Kobanji has made it difficult for the police to track down the three other suspects as he denies involvement in the mugging incident.
“If he’s uncooperative it makes it a bit difficult, but we are still looking for the others,” he said.
Meanwhile, The Voice paid Kobanji a visit at the orthopedic ward at Nyangagbwe Referral Hospital where he maintained his innocence.
Under police escort and both his bullet-riddled thighs heavily bandaged, Kobanji revealed he was told his right leg would be amputated as there were too many bullet fragments lodged in his flesh.
“They say some of the fragments are lodged too deep and are just too many to remove and the best option would be to amputate the leg before further damage is done,” he said, maintaining his piercing gaze.
Narrating his version of the ordeal that landed him on his hospital bed, Kobanji said it was just after midnight when he left the Area S Complex to head home to Blue Town.
“Suddenly a guy screamed, ‘magodu, magodu’ (thieves, thieves), and then he shot me. A few people gathered around me as I lay bleeding on the ground, and then this angry man told the mob that he had been looking for ‘me and my gang’ as we robbed him in Blue Town.
“He said we stole his cellphone, but it was my first time to see him,” insisted Kobanji defiantly, his left hand also covered in plaster.
Kobanji said there was no way he could have forgotten a face of someone he had robbed.
“There was a group of other guys in front of me, I think it was a case of mistaken identity. I’m innocent and I don’t belong to any notorious gang,” he concluded fiercely.