Highway robbers on the prowl along Victoria Falls-Bulawayo highway

Highway robbers on the prowl along Victoria Falls-Bulawayo highway

MOTORISTS using the Victoria Falls-Bulawayo highway have been urged to be vigilant amid reports of suspected highway robbers who are allegedly smashing windscreens of moving cars.

This is reportedly happening between Insuza shops and the 120km peg towards Mbembesi River.

A number of motorists have reportedly fallen prey in the past week where their vehicles were smashed by stones coming from unknown sources.

No formal report of robbery has been made so far to the police.

None of the victims saw the source of the suspected stones which reportedly target the windscreen.

The Chronicle got to know about the matter after a Victoria Falls resident posted on a WhatsApp group narrating his ordeal.

Five responded saying they had also fallen victim to the suspected stone throwers with three of them posting pictures of shattered windscreens.

The smash and attack trend is prevalent along highways in South Africa where thugs wait by the traffic lights where they smash the windscreen and grab valuables.

Previously, similar reports were once reported in Zimbabwe where stones or old tyres would be thrown onto the road in front of oncoming vehicles and robbers would then pounce on the driver once he or she stops to avoid hitting the boulders.

Motorists suspect a group of illegal fuel dealers who used to operate between Insuza and Mbembesi River are behind the attacks.

“I was going to Bulawayo and approaching Insuza when suddenly there was a loud band on the side of the car. I almost panicked but something told me that I shouldn’t stop. I kept driving until I got to where I felt I could stop and upon checking I found that it could have been a stone that hit the side door,” said Mr Chris Moyo from Bulawayo.

A lady who was driving to Bulawayo with her husband and preferred to remain anonymous said she was scared of driving back along the same road.

“We were attacked as well but initially we didn’t suspect anything. It was around midday and I was the one driving when I heard a loud bang that sounded like a gunshot on the windscreen on the passenger side. I slowed down and eventually stopped to make a U-turn so that we could check. We got to the place where we were hit but we could not find anything or see anyone around.

“The windscreen was shattered. We got out of the car to take pictures as we didn’t suspect anything. We only realised that it was a mischievous attack when we heard several other people talking about the same experience. I am still in Bulawayo and am scared to drive back,” she said.

Another Victoria Falls resident said his workmate’s car was smashed a few days ago while driving from Bulawayo to Victoria Falls.

Matabeleland North police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese said police will investigate the issue although no formal report had been made.

“We haven’t received a formal report but we are looking into it. We want to urge motorists not to speed but exercise extreme caution when driving along the roads. People should be vigilant and avoid any unnecessary distraction and we encourage motorists not to stop whenever such things happen or stop for strangers.

If your car is hit you rather continue driving and only stop when you get to where there are people and it’s safe to do so,” she said.