CHINHOYI – Highway robberies along the Harare-Chirundu Road are on the increase, rising from 97 cases in 2010 to 126 in 2011, police have said.
In an interview with NewsDay, Mashonaland West provincial police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara said the increase had become “worrisome”, prompting them to hold a meeting with truck drivers’ representatives to try and find a solution.
“From 2010 we recorded about 97 cases and in 2011 we recorded 126 cases, an increase of 29% which is very worrisome. We urge commuters to use public transport such as buses and kombis so that they don’t fall prey to these armed criminals,” he said.
Mabgweazara urged both the public and transporters to be cautious.
“Private transport operators must also stop picking up commuters and let them board public transport as some of them masquerade as commuters. These people are targeting cellphones and other valuable property,” he said.
The police spokesperson urged all Zimbabweans to play a role in dealing with the problem.
“Fighting crime is a collective responsibility. These people either board lifts as passengers (or) later rob motorists of their belongings. In some instances, they use their vehicles to offer transport to commuters and then rob them along the way,” said Mabgweazara.
He said robbers also pounced on drivers at lay-byes and those with broken-down vehicles.
Mabgweazara said it would be helpful if the public could identify clothes worn, physical marks, weapons and vehicle they board as this would assist the police in investigating cases.