By Rex Mphisa
ARMED robbers who use spikes to disable moving vehicles have resurfaced in Beitbridge.
Last week, a motorist and his wife, driving towards Beitbridge, were attacked by the robbers who stripped them of cash and other valuables before stabbing the man. He was later treated and discharged at Beitbridge hospital.
A trucker had his vehicle attacked in a similar manner, after which the robbers broke all windows and ransacked the vehicle.
Officer commanding Beitbridge Police District Chief Superintendent Tichaona Nyongo confirmed receiving the two reports.
“We appeal to those who are attacked to report at the nearest bases, if possible, so that we react fast. We suspect these could be villagers and early reports will give us immediate evidence,” he said.
“People should not wait to reach Beitbridge to report, but go to our Forward Bases for quick reaction,” Nyongo said.
The robbers attacked their victims at a level crossing just outside Beitbridge and on damaged sections of the road where motorists slow down.
The robbers hurled spikes at the haulage truck near Bubi and attacked the driver when he went out to investigate.
“Almost suddenly a group of about 10 dashed towards the truck and started attacking the driver and his passengers who had to run for dear life leaving the truck behind,” a warning message circulating on social groups read.
Nyongo said a stakeholders’ meeting involving officials from the Department of Roads was held in connection with potholes blamed for some of the incidents.
“They patched with soil but it does not last,” he said.
The highways leading from Bulawayo and Harare into Beitbridge have deteriorated and causing many accidents.
Last month, the director of roads, Kudzai Chinyanga said an application for funds to attend to the roads was waiting approval.
Concern over the state of the roads in Beitbridge has been raised at high level with accusations flying that road repairs were concentrated in Mashonaland East where the Transport minister Joel Biggie Matiza lives. Beitbridge East legislator Albert Nguluvhe (pictured) at the weekend said he had approached Matiza and showed him video evidence of the road.
“I showed him the video of trucks having to leave the highway to avoid potholes. The situation needs attention now rather than later,” he said.
He stopped Beitbridge residents from raising funds to repair the road because of transparency issues.
“Some people were asking for funds to be sent to their private accounts and I became worried. This is an international road and has to meet certain standards and ordinarily it has to be attended to by government,” Nguluvhe said.
The road services international traffic to Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.