Motorists raise concern over carjackings

By Fungai Jachi

THE increase in carjacking cases taking place in Harare has become a major source of worry, with about 10 suspects facing multiple counts of car theft in just one month.

Taxi drivers Gift Njanji and Lawrence Chiguvi are lucky to be alive after being robbed of their cars at gun point by men who pretended to be genuine passengers.

“I am actually a victim of carjacking. What happened was I was hired by two men who then pulled a gun on me to surrender my vehicle. I complied with the demands and I witnessed my car being taken, but was hopeless and couldn’t do anything. It was a terrible experience,” said a survivor.

“I was carjacked by a passenger who had accomplices waiting at their destination. I realised that the only way out was for me to run and I did just that. When I recovered my vehicle, it had no tyres and the battery was also removed,” said another survivor.

“Every day we hear of incidents of carjacking and it makes us worried. One driver was assaulted and tied to a tree and the people used his car as a getaway vehicle after committing a spate of robberies, only to dump it near Nyabira. It is now really worrisome,” said a concerned citizen.

Some of the cases that were brought before the court include that of 22-year-old Atipaishe Sibanda who is facing 30 counts of carjacking.

28-year-old Joseph Mwale also appeared in court on two counts of carjacking, while Divine Comma, aged 24 and 41-year-old Hugo Harry have also been arraigned before the courts on the same charges.

The suspects were all denied bail on their initial court appearances confirming the serious nature of their crimes.