The Passengers Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) has urged bus companies to install CCTV on their coaches as part of measures to curb now rampant armed robberies by persons who would have boarded the public transport as genuine passengers.
This follows numerous cases of armed robbery mostly targeting cross border travellers who would be carrying large sums of money and some valuable property on them.
In the past one month alone, there have been three armed robberies, twice on Beitbridge bound MB Transport buses and once on a Chirundu bound CAG bus.
Cash running into tens of thousands has been seized from travellers some of whom have been left injured from assaults.
Following the incidents, the passenger rights lobby has called for some preventive measures by both authorities and the bus companies themselves.
“PAZ advises operators who ply cross border routes to equip their vehicles with mobile cctv and have a register of passengers onboard including their contact details and next of kin.
“Apart from equipping their vehicles with the cctv technology, the buses must have a radio communications system. This was a way of safeguarding passengers’ safety and the vehicles,” PAZ said.
PAZ added, “The Zimbabwe Republic of Zimbabwe must implement random highway patrols to scare off these robbers.”
The group also wants bus crews to be highly alert and suspicious of some passengers they carry.
“These days almost everyone who is provided with a service is a potential thief or robber. This is being pushed to that end due to the socio-economic development taking about in our country.
“PAZ advice passengers to use other platforms to transfer their funds so that they can access the from places they are visiting. It is wise not travel with large amounts of money on person.
“We also urge bus companies to leave cash behind and only move with limited cash from passengers picked along the way. Security must given priority since robberies are on the rise,” said the group.