Armed robbers are targeting schools, with the Zimbabwe Republic Police urging schools to deposit their money in formal banks.
Robbers have so far pounced on schools in Bulawayo and Chinhoyi. One of the country’s poshy schools, Lumagundi College was robbed on 9 January where robbers got away with an undisclosed amount of money, a motor vehicle and electronic gadgets.
In a statement, ZRP said the new spat of robberies on schools is being motivated by the fact that parents and guardians are paying money for school fees and levies for their children which is being kept at the school.
“As the schools open, parents and guardians are in the process of paying school fees, levies and other related school costs, for their children. School authorities are therefore urged to deposit all monies at financial institutions to curb armed robbery cases. The issue of collecting cash by school authorities at schools should be reconsidered in view of the recent armed robbery cases,” reads the statement.
“The Police has recorded armed robbery cases in Bulawayo and Chinhoyi in which schools are being targeted. In one of the cases, unknown suspects pounced at George Silundika High School at corner George Silundika Street and Third Avenue, Bulawayo on 06th January 2024, where they stole US$17 280.00 cash which was in a cash box. In another case which occurred at Lomagundi College, Chinhoyi on 09th January 2024, 12 unknown suspects attacked security guards before stealing undisclosed amount of cash, a Mazda Tribute motor vehicle, cellphones and laptops, among other valuables.
School authorities are urged to step up security measures at schools and employ guards from reputable security service providers who constantly monitor and review deployments. Above all, school authorities should install CCTV at points of entry and administration offices.
The police said some of the robberies are committed after robbers get inside information from school staff.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is concerned that some of these robbery cases are resulting from leakage of information. Members of the public are warned that those who provide inside information to robbery syndicates will be arrested. Police crack teams are firm on the ground and will pounce on armed robbery syndicates for the law to take its course in earnest,” the police said.