By Rex Mphisa
MATABELELAND South police have advised motorists not to stop at secluded places along the country’s highways and around the border areas as they risked attacks by robbers.
The police also warned travellers to use public transport as opposed to hiking since some motorists have actually turned out to be robbers.
The warning came after a 60-year-old man was stripped of valuables worth R3 000 by knife-wielding robbers who attacked him on the outskirts of Beitbridge as he relieved himself on Monday.
”We are advising motorists to park at built-up areas and avoid lay-byes and isolated places, where they are exposed to attack,” Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveless Mangena said yesterday.
The elderly man is said to have stopped his car and went into the bush to answer nature’s call when the robbers appeared from nowhere and combed his car, stealing every available valuable.
The old man was also attacked by the robbers upon return to his vehicle. He was treated at a local hospital.
“In some cases we have robbers who pretend to be motorists travelling in a certain direction, but rob passengers on the way. We would rather people use public transport,” Mangena said.
Cases of robberies peak during the festive season.
Recently, police reported cases of spike-throwing robbers along the Harare-Beitbridge Highway where robbers have also taken advantage of damaged sections of the road where they violently attack slow moving cars.
”Motorists should also desist from carrying strangers and should check vehicle fitness before travelling to avoid breakdowns at undesirable places,” she said, adding that the two robbers who attacked the old man had not yet been apprehended.