Armed robbers terrorise Zim

HARARE - Police have warned both businesses and members of the public to be wary of gangs of armed robbers who have mounted a spate of heists, particularly in and around Harare — in a new crime wave that is targeting companies and homesteads.

The warning comes as the dangerous robbers have also used detonators to rob a fuel station on the outskirts of Harare last week, among their other recent heists.

“Armed robbers are on the prowl and members of the public are therefore discouraged from keeping large sums of money in person, cars and business premises.

“Police are urging the public to deposit their money in banks and engage reputable security companies to guard their premises.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is concerned with the cases of armed robbery that of late have been occurring mainly at service stations and other business premises,” national police spokesperson, Paul Nyathi, warned yesterday.

“We also urge the public to desist from travelling during the night, especially in isolated places, to avoid being victims of this heinous crime.

“The robbers target places where they know large sums of money are being kept, by pouncing on their unsuspecting victims. In most instances, they are armed with pistols or dangerous weapons,” he added.

Elaborating on the criminals' modus operandi, Nyathi said one or more of these lowlifes would enter the targeted places and point a weapon at people there, before announcing that a robbery was under way and stealing valuables.

In one incident, on April 22 this year, five robbers wearing hoodies stormed a fuel station in Beatrice, holding hostage four employees at gunpoint, including a security guard.

They subsequently broke into an office and blew open a safe using explosives, before escaping with $10 161.

On April 26, Nyathi said, armed robbers also left a Chegutu man for dead after they attacked him with an okapi knife and machete, while he was on his way to Bosbury Mine.

In another Harare incident at Hopley Farm in Waterfalls, a 40-year-old woman and her teenage daughter were attacked by two armed robbers while they were on their way to the tobacco auction floors.

Analysts who spoke to the Daily News yesterday attributed the alarming rise in crime to the country’s dying economy and the worsening poverty levels.

Zimbabwe is deep in the throes of a debilitating economic crisis which has led to horrendous company closures and the consequent loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.

At the same time, economists have said that poverty levels in the country are skyrocketing, with average incomes now at their lowest levels in more than 60 years — with more than 76 percent of the country’s families now having to make do with pitiful incomes that are well below the poverty datum line.

This comes as Zimbabwe has recently been officially ranked as the poorest country in Africa.

According to the Africa 2016 Wealth Report, Zimbabwe has been ranked as the country with the poorest people on the continent, with average wealth of $200 per person.

In the report, AfrAsia — a Mauritius-domiciled financial institution which once operated in Zimbabwe after acquiring the now-defunct Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited — noted that back in 2000, Zimbabwe was one of the wealthiest countries in sub-Saharan Africa on a wealth per capita basis.

Comments (6)

I would dismiss the thinking that this evil government maybe sending trained personnel to do those robberies, their counterparts in uniform are doing it on the highways in broad day light.

Sinyo - 1 May 2017

criminals have seen an opportunity to thrive their business because the authority police have left a huge crime fighting business and are now an extension arm of revenue collecting services. That's the only reason why robbers are reigning supreme and with impunity. Police are partly to blame to this lawless society that has emerged. Old days one national highway Benz would instill discipline on the road between towns, but now multiple checks points its chaos all over. More police should be directed to crime fighting than wondering about on the roads.

X-MAN IV - 1 May 2017

It appears like its become common for these robberies to manifest when its going towards election time. Look back at the statistics as far back as 2000. Its been happening since then since the government and ZanuPF dished out arms and ammunition to war veterans and militias when they were scared by the then united MDC. Most of those arms were never recovered. Maybe there is a force behind this terror perpetrated by well organised gangs under instruction. It doesnt need a rocket scientist to imagine where the proceeds are going!!!!

MR COOPER - 1 May 2017

Now Zanu PF using intimidation to make people and businesses to deposit money in banks because they want to solve the cash crisis issue. The goat school fees, the bond money, now the armed thugs send by Mugabe and his ZANU PF. (sic) Cry the beloved country.

Ziziharinanyanga - 1 May 2017

What do you expect when you go for months without pay and the police are the biggest robbers

Slim Cat - 2 May 2017

These are the ex-soldiers which Fikile Mbalula was referring to. What can stop them from jumping the border and continuing with their cruel acts?

Sagitarr - 2 May 2017

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