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Tighten security, bus crews told

Cross border bus crews have been urged to tighten security on the road through avoiding picks and drops at undesignated points as well as searching all passengers using metal detectors.

File picture of buses and commuter omnibuses at a terminus
File picture of buses and commuter omnibuses at a terminus

They were also reminded to keep records of their passengers as a security measure.

An upsurge in cases where travellers are robbed of groceries and cash while on the South Africa-Zimbabwe route prompted the police and the passenger associations to issue out warnings and give bus drivers safety tips.

The latest case is the recent hijacking of an Inter Cape Bus that was travelling to Harare from South Africa by eight armed robbers.

The incident occurred on the South African side. The criminals were armed with an AK 47 rifle, pistols and knives.

The passengers had boarded the bus at Park Station in Johannesburg at around 7.30pm on Saturday night to Harare and the hijacking occurred soon after leaving Pretoria after the first toll plaza.

Four of the robbers were part of the passengers.

Robbers, who pose as desperate transport seekers are now targeting buses during the night.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi urged bus operators to intensify their security.

“We have been always saying bus operators should step up on their security to ensure passengers are safe and secure at all costs.

“They should also keep the particulars of their passengers with them.

“We also encourage drivers not to stop at any place for recess because some of these people who demand recess, would be working in connivance with robbers.

“We are also urging members of the public to be alert when travelling,” he said.

Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) president Mr Tafadzwa Goliati said drivers should desist from the habit of picking up and dropping passengers at undesignated points as they put their passengers at risk.

“Bus operators should advise their drivers to avoid picking up and dropping passengers at undesignated points.

“They should not be greedy for money. Reputable bus operators do not do that hence they are not robbed.

“Bus crews should also have the passenger manifesto bearing the names of all the passengers and this will assist them to identify those who could have committed any criminal activity,” he said. The Herald