Robbers target tobacco farmers

by | Apr 30, 2021 | Crime & Courts, Local News | 0 comments

Alex Samanyanga

The Zimbabwe Republic Police have warned tobacco farmers to avoid travelling at night, especially after cashing in their sales.
This follows a spike in robbery cases targeting tobacco farmers.
Robbers in army and police uniforms are on the prowl, travelling in unmarked vehicles and are in most cases armed with pistols targeting vehicles in transit to auction floors.

In a statement, Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi urged farmers to use roadworthy vehicles and travel during the day.

“The cases are taking place at night as transporters and farmers travel. The suspects are mostly a syndicate with some wearing security services uniforms from police, army while others will be in civilian attire. The group is using Honda Fit and Toyota Wish vehicles without registration numbers to way lay farmers and rob them,” Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said.

He cited a recent incident, which left farmers counting their losses.

“On April 26 2021 at around 2230 hours, five farmers travelling in a Nissan Atlas truck laden with 25 bales of tobacco were intercepted by an unregistered Honda fit vehicle with four occupants as the suspects brandished two unidentified pistols and attacked them at a railway line along Gleneagles road Harare.
The robbed Nissan Atlas was later recovered in Norton after being used to commit another robbery case by unknown suspects,” Assistant Commissioner Nyathi said.

In 2019, police officers posed as farmers and were involved in a shootout with armed robber who were terrorising farmers in Harare.
The robbers were using three vehicles. They were all arrested and their cars were impounded.