EDITORIAL COMMENT: Increasing robberies cause for concern

THE rate at which robberies are happening in and around Mutare is a cause for concern which requires swift remedies.

Dangerous criminals are on the prowl, armed to the teeth with fire-power and all sorts of weaponry.

More often than not, ring leaders of these criminals are ex-law enforcement agents who were kicked out of the service after turning rogue.

They are now using the skills they acquired while employed to attack and rob innocent civilians of their hard earned cash and properties.

Interestingly, in some instances serving law enforcement agents have literally went rogue, perpetrating dreadful crimes that have rattled communities, leaving members of the public with their mouths ajar — soliloquising on who will police the police.

On the front page of  this issue, we carry a disturbing article on last week’s robbery at Mavhudzi Government High School that was ruthlessly executed.

Several staffers at the school were seriously injured during the armed onslaught at the hands of rabid criminals who wanted cash.

Although investigations are in progress to track down the criminals who fled after the failed heist, rudimentary knowledge on robberies shows that these fugitive criminals had information pertaining to operations at the school.

They were badly in need of hard cash and that’s why they targeted the safe which was in the school head’s office.

We don’t know if there was anything in the safe but had the robbers succeeded in landing their hands on money that had been paid as fees, those responsible would be blaming themselves for not taking the same to the bank.

The police always warn individuals and companies to bank huge sums of money because criminals will target them.

Usually, insiders will leak information to criminals leading to devastating robberies, and thus playing it smart through banking will save the day.

This also brings to the fore the issue of plastic money which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is spreading throughout the country. It is worrying to note that most schools in the province do not have swipe machines and are demanding that parents bring fees in cash.

This scenario is exposing the schools to robbers and in the absence of strong security, they will fall prey to these criminals. We find no wisdom in demanding cash which will be subsequently deposited into the bank later unless those handling the cash have some sinister motives.

We advise schools to leave the responsibility of cash handling to financial institutions for they have adequate security and insurance to cover loses in cases such as robbery.

When robberies increase at this rate, communities shiver. We urge the police and its relevant departments to track down these criminals and bring them to book and send the right signal to would-be offenders who might be fooled to think that crime pays.

The best and effective way to deal with deviance in society is to administer a punishment of equal proportion to the crime committed.

With these criminals still on the prowl, people will always leave in fear. It is common cause that these rogue elements are living within our midst and for the police to effectively deliver and bring them before the courts, members of the public must play ball and report.