Mushikashika robberies increase Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi

Crime Reporter 

Five sets of passengers accepting lifts from what they thought were mushikashika lost cash and phones on Friday and Saturday last week in Harare, while a man who offered three men a lift last week lost his car.

None of the robbers have been arrested, but a manhunt is in progress, said national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi.

On Friday, a man aged 44 lost US$1 700 cash and other valuables worth US$1 600 to robbers after boarding a Nissan Sunny vehicle destined for Sisk Tynwald at Westlea Industrial area, Harare. 

The two in the car robbed him.

On Saturday, three men using a blue Honda FIT (AEV 3684) went on a robbery spree hitting three people in separate attacks by first offering a passenger a lift and then when they were on the road, suddenly diverting and robbing their victim.

In the first incident, the robbers stole US$80 and a cellphone at around 7.30am in Borrowdale and dumped the female passenger at Ballantyne Park shops in Highlands. 

They moved to the other side of the city, but made good time because at 8.30am they picked up a passenger in Marlborough and stole US$220. 

The third robbery was of a woman who intended to go to Mazowe along Sam Nujoma Street. 

She was robbed of her cellphone, US$10 cash, and R400 before being dumped along Nemakonde Way (ex Lomagundi Road) in Avondale.

Another gang, this time of four, was busy on Saturday.  A 21-year-old man was robbed of a cellphone and US$760 cash in Harare by the gang after boarding their Toyota Wish at Kuwadzana Roundabout going to Glen View.

Offering lifts to strangers is as dangerous as accepting them. 

Last Tuesday along Harare-Bindura Highway three robbers stole a Toyota RunX (ADW 9191), US$210, cellphone and a bag of clothes from the complainant who had offered them a lift to the suspects from Harare to Bindura.

Last month, more passengers and motorists lost their cash, cars and goods to robbers as crimes of concern continue to increase countrywide.

Most of the passengers were robbed after being offered lifts in and around Harare. Police then reiterated that members of the public must avoid boarding mushikashika vehicles or using their private vehicles as pirate taxis as they risk falling prey to robbers. 

On April 22, 2022, a 25-year-old Harare man lost property valued at US$750 after boarding a grey Toyota Wish vehicle with two occupants at Mbudzi roundabout destined for the city centre. 

Along the way, the robbers produced an unidentified pistol and a knife before they stole his property. 

On April 21, a motorist driving a Honda Fit vehicle along Liberation Legacy Way lost property valued at US$300 after picking four passengers. 

The robbers grabbed the victim from behind and threatened him with a knife before robbing him.

On the same day at around 1pm, another motorist driving a Honda Fit vehicle along Chitungwiza Road lost US$2 500 cash and other valuables all valued at US$3 000 after parking the vehicle near Zororo Cemetery to relieve himself.

Two robbers emerged from the tall grass and threatened him with an unidentified pistol before handcuffing him. The robbers took control of the vehicle and later left the victim locked inside his car after undressing him and stealing his clothes.

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