BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Daring armed robbers have besieged Marondera, with the gun-totting gang reportedly terrorising residents, money changers and businesspeople, a local businessperson has said.
The gang is reportedly armed with AK-47 assault rifles, pistols and tear smoke canisters, among other deadly weapons, and has been demanding foreign currency and cash from victims.
Residents and businesspeople called on the police to react and restore normalcy in the town. The gang is also reportedly using teargas to suffocate victims during break-ins.
“Almost every week, we are having these robberies and we are no longer safe at all. Marondera town is no longer habitable and we are living in fear as to what is going to happen next. The businesses are no longer safe, as this gang is targeting businesspeople’s homes and moneychangers from who they demand cash. As it stands, it is high time the police do something about it and ensure that these criminals are dealt with,” a local businessperson who declined to be named, said.
Recently, the suspects numbering about 10, stormed three houses in a single night and made off with large sums of money.
Mashonaland East provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza confirmed that robbery cases have increased as compared to last year.
“Robbery cases increased to 77 January and February 2019 from 52 during same period 2018,” he said.
The increase in armed robbery and murder cases resulted in Mashonaland East police last week issuing a prohibition order banning the carrying of weapons in Marondera, Chivhu and Murewa.