Harare airtime vendor faints twice after finding US$1 854 gone from safe


Harare (New Ziana) -A 26-year old Harare airtime vendor collapsed and fainted twice on Wednesday morning when she
discovered that her shop had been broken into the previous night and
US$1 854 that she had locked inside a cash box had been stolen.

Pelostag Muruki of 91 Bank Street opposite the Market Square received a
call from Bridgitah Makoni around 8AM on Wednesday morning informing her
that there was a break-in at the shop which they share with five other

Muriki dashed to the shop from her house in Waterfalls and upon arrival,
she discovered that the safe in which she kept her daily takings was
open and empty, she collapsed and fainted.

Her co-tenants had to fan her to revive her but when she regained
consciousness and the shock of the loss returned, she collapsed and
fainted again.

The money had been locked in a cash box, which was fixed to the wall and
covered by a cardboard box. The cash box also contained airtime scratch
cards worth US$3 634 which the thieves did not take but left strewn on
the floor.

A small square hole could be seen gaping in the ceiling, through which
the thief is suspected to have entered the shop from the roof,
suggesting that the person had intricate knowledge about the shop.

Muriki shares the shop with Bridgitah Makoni, Norma Gwanzura, Emlia
Makaza, Rutendo Sofazi and Thelma who sell different wares.

Makoni, who was the first to arrive at the shop and called Muriki, lost
47 cell phones worth US$6 335USD and US$24 cash during the break-in.

She said, “I reported the case to the police who asked for the serial
numbers for all the stolen phones and I gave them,” she said.

Harare provincial police spokesperson Inspector Simon Chikanza confirmed
receiving the report, adding investigations were underway.”

“Cases like these are treated as two cases although it happened at the
same time and under the same roof.”

Muriki said she was a registered airtime vendor and she keeps her money
in the cash box at work because she considered it to be the safest

“It is too risky to move around with money because a lot of people know
that an airtime vendor handles a lot of money every day,” she said.

She said she and her husband decided to sell their house for US$9 500,
used US$4 500 to buy another stand and invested the remaining US$5 000
into the airtime business.

“I wish if I could get my $1 854USD back. I also wish the thief gets
caught and the law is applied to him.”

Muriki had not yet reported the theft to the police by the time of the
interview but said she would be doing so as soon as possible.

The police are on record urging people to deposit money at the banks as
thefts and robberies were on the increase with the majority of cases
involving people with inside information about the cash and where it was

New Ziana

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