Car theft increases countrywide

Ngoni Chanakira

ZIMBABWE had a national record of 1 051 reported cases of car theft by the end of December with Harare topping the list at 633, according to ZRP spokesperson inspector Andrew Phiri.


The country’s second largest city of Bulawayo followed Harare with 226 cases.


Phiri said statistics for otherprovinces were as follows – Mani-caland 25, Mashonaland 22, Masho-naland East 32, Mashonaland West 43, Masvingo 14, Matabeleland North 2, Matabeleland South 20 and Midlands 27.


The high level of car thefts has resulted in the Insurance Council of Zimbabwe (ICZ) hosting a stakeholder’s conference in Nyanga on May 10 /11.


Cars have also been stolen from neighbouring countries such as Zambia and South Africa and later resold in Zimbabwe.


Luxury vehicles including BMWs, Mercedes Benz and 4X4s are the most popular as they are faster to sell as they command a cash market.


A spokesperson for the ICZ said the conference was aimed at averting crime owing to the huge costs that were being incurred by the insurance industry.


The theme of the conference will be “Alliance against crime”.


“The lack of coordinated effort from key stakeholders in insurance related industry has prompted ICZ to instigate the conference to open dialogue among interested parties,” she said. “Although the main thrust of the conference will be on traditional crimes affecting the insurance industry such as motor vehicle and property theft, other forms of crime will also be looked at.”


She said during the conference, stakeholders would discuss means of curbing crime as well as practical, sustainable and lasting solutions to the problems of crime.


The ICZ solicited the support of government, the private sector and the public sector organisations that are affected by the increased rate of crime.

Stakeholders from the Ministries of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and Finance and Economic Development, car insurance companies, anti-hijack unit, the ZRP, Interpol, security companies, car protection companies, motor vehicle manufacturers, the media and members of lobby groups that fight against crime are expected to attend the conference.


Among other suggested factors leading to the increase in the rate of crime, ICZ cited the current economic conditions prevailing in the country as the major contributor to the high levels of crime in Zimbabwe.


“Possible ways of addressing the major constraints currently hampering the sustainable effectiveness of the law enforcement agencies locally and abroad will also be probed,” she said.


“The campaign aims to increase awareness regarding the most common crimes and the role that members of the public can play to assist the law enforcement agencies in curbing crime.”


She said to this end, ICZ had engaged media support to ensure effective dissemination of relevant information to members of the public aimed at generating increased awareness on matters concerning crime.