IN a typical case of instant justice, two criminals who had robbed some farmers of five bales of tobacco at gunpoint in Harare, died on the spot after their getaway vehicle collided with another car, a few minutes later.
Three others were seriously injured.
The accident occurred at the intersection of Josiah Tongogara Avenue and Rekai Tangwena Street as the gang was making good its escape.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident on Tuesday and said the farmers were travelling in a Toyota Canter truck.
The robbers blocked the farmers’ vehicle using a Toyota Passo before robbing them of the tobacco.
The loot was loaded in a bigger truck before the robbers sped off.
“A Toyota Passo (registration number AEJ 6679) firstly obstructed the Toyota Canter which was carrying tobacco bales,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
“The accused persons then cut the rope which was securing the bales and five bales were loaded into the accused persons’ vehicle.
“An alert motorist who was following behind alerted the farmers. They then pursued the accused persons who made a U-turn and sped off.”
The robbers’ vehicle was hit by a Toyota Wish after they drove through a red robot at the robot-controlled intersection.
Asst Comm Nyathi said the deceased robbers have been identified as Nomatter Chitohwe and Charles Fredrick Mushanhi.
Early this month, police warned tobacco farmers against transporting their bales at night as they were being targeted by robbers, especially in Harare.
The police have been receiving reports of tobacco farmers that are being robbed by criminals at gunpoint while on their way to the auction floors during the night and early hours of the morning.
Police said they were concerned about the rise in such cases.
In one of the incidents, a farmer lost two tobacco bales to three armed robbers after an Isuzu truck they were travelling in was blocked by an unregistered Toyota Noah last week.
The incident occurred at around 2am, while the farmer was on his way to Tobacco Sales Floors in Willowvale.