5 April 2014

Zambia: Broad Daylight Robberies Worrying

THE last few weeks have been characterised by a number of incidents involving aggravated robberies.

Towards the end of March, money amounting to more than K200, 000 was stolen from individuals in Ndola, Samfya, Nakonde and Lusaka by way of aggravated robbery.

Worryingly, all these incidents happened in broad daylight and in the full view of passersby and onlookers.

It goes without saying that Zambia is a safe place where people walk freely, at almost any time of the day without the dread of being robbed at gun-point.

Of course like everywhere else, some areas are not as safe to hang around in especially when one is in possession of huge sums of money.

We know that countries for example; South Africa, Liberia, Russia and Colombia are just some among places that annually record high cases of gun-point robberies.

Now, these incidents of armed robbery that occurred in the fortnight ending March raise a lot of concern because it is not clear how easy it is for one to identify a fellow in possession of a colossal amount of money.

About K110, 000 was snatched from a Star Bakery light truck which was ferrying the money from Head office for deposit at a named financial institution in Ndola.

This was in full view of pedestrians, motorists and vendors who were going about their daily errands around Broadway road where the incident happened.

But how did those robbers know that the bakery vehicle was carrying that money and that it would be ferried to the bank at that hour?

Barely two days later, K 68, 000 was stolen from a business executive in Lusaka when he was dropping his two workers in a Chalala residential area.

The robbers roughed-up their victim out of his vehicle, beat him and drove away with his car.

Typical of what would make a good action film; but even to a layman, both these incidents appear to be acts of an "inside job".

How again did someone know that the man dropping off his workers was in possession of that money?

This is the question that can get one to critically think about the cause of these intermittent robberies which if not properly checked, will spiral.

It is important, therefore, that people who are going to deposit their money in bulk move with adequate security personnel for their own safety.

Private business people, especially, should not ignore the need to invest in adequate security for their premises and operations because the central business district is ever busy and this is a recipe for crime.

Financial institutions should also secure their premises, more especially that people now prefer withdrawing money from the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as compared to queuing up for a withdrawal.

The ATM booths should atleast be manned by two police officers throughout the day and night so that in case of an emergency or otherwise, one does not fear to withdraw money using these facilities.

Government as the custodian of national security must ensure that law enforcement agencies are equipped to fight aggravated robbery.

Operations at police officers' training messes like Lilayi must be upgraded often to move along with the developing trends that developed countries are applying to combat such crimes.

There is also need to continue sensitising business people on the need to keep their money in the bank.

It is not safe as the incident in Nakonde recounts, to keep money enclosed in a home surrounding a neighbourhood where an ordinary person knows that one owns a high-income generating business.

For comments:email.jameskunda91@gmail.com or call and text to: 0964317110 and 0973182006.

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