A 42-year-old shop owner in Zvishavane was shot in the head and killed by an armed robber at her home on 13 December, police have said.

In a statement, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) national spokesperson Assistant Commissioner said that the unidentified gunman, who was wearing a mask, accosted Mercy Hwahwa’s employee and force-marched to her home.

On arrival, the robber claimed he had inside information that Hwahwa had cash received from a savings club, but she insisted that she didn’t have any money.

The suspect then shot Hwahwa in the head at point-blank range and stole an undisclosed amount of cash and two cellphones. Said Asst Comm Nyathi:

"The Zimbabwe Republic Police is appealing for information which may assist in the investigation of a case of murder of a shop owner, Mercy Hwahwa (42) who was brutally killed on 13th December 2023 at a house in Maglas, Zvishavane.

An unknown suspect who was armed with an unidentified pistol and wearing a face mask intercepted Mercy Hwahwa’s employee who was coming from the shop to Mercy Hwahwa’s residence to hand over cash realized from daily sales.

The suspect forced the employee to show him Mercy Hwahwa’s residence saying that he had inside information that Mercy Hwahwa had cash received from a savings club (mukando).

When the suspect arrived at the house, he demanded cash from Mercy Hwahwa, who denied having any and then shot her in the head with a pistol.

The suspect stole an undisclosed amount of cash, two cellphones and US$100.00 realized from daily sales at the shop.

Mercy Hwahwa was taken to Zvishavane Hospital where she died upon admission.

Anyone with information to contact the National Complaints Desk at (0242) 70 3631 or WhatsApp at 0712 800 197 or report at any nearest Police Station."

Armed robbery cases have been on the rise in recent years as businesspeople increasingly shun the banking system and prefer to keep their cash at business premises or in their homes.

Reports suggest that robbers usually get inside information from employees or relatives of their targets and use that information to carry out their evil enterprises.