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Cross border truckers warned of robbers on Harare-Chirundu highway targeting trucks

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Cross border truckers who use the Harare-Chirundu highway enroute to and from Zambia and DRC have been warned of highway robbers targeting trucks on the route.

Zimbabwea Republic Police (ZRP) in the Mashonaland West have raised concern over the rise in highway robberies targeting haulage truck drivers.

Confirming the upsurge of robberies, ZRP provincial spokesperson, Inspector Margaret Chitove, said the robbers, commonly known as “Makaramata” (Climbers) waylay slow-moving trucks as they go uphill, cut pressure hoses of the hydraulic systems, which force vehicles to stop, before they pounce.

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She said reported incidents had escalated, particularly in the mountainous Chikuti area.

In a recent incident which occurred on June 15, 2022, at the 168 kilometre-peg along the Harare-Chirundu highway, a truck driver, Guardian Sobafana, was driving alone enroute to Chirundu.

Upon reaching the said spot, unidentified robbers threw stones at the vehicle, while others climbed onto it and cut pressure pipes, forcing the truck to stop.

The assailants sprayed the driver’s eyes with an irritant before stealing a cellphone, radio, an assortment of clothes and blankets, all valued at US7 (R12 774).

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They assaulted Sabafana using sticks and boots, resulting in him sustaining facial injuries.

Police urged drivers to avoid travelling at night in a bid to curb such incidents.

Read aĺso: Trucker brutally attacked by robbers then gets seriously injured during rescue

“We urge truckers to desist from driving at night as this exposes them to highway robbers. Instead, they must park at designated truck stops and continue journeys during the day when it is less likely they would be targeted by robbers,” said Chitove.

Trucks travelling between South Africa and Zambia or DRC often use this route. Transporters are advised to plan accordingly as to avoid driving on this stretch of highway during the night.

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