ON Tuesday, we dedicated a full page to daring armed robbers and unrepentant con artists who appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court facing various offences.
As a newspaper, we believe it is our responsibility to expose these shenanigans because we believe this helps in alerting our people about all these evil acts, which are happening around them.
One of the suspects, an ex-convict out on bail pending appeal, allegedly robbed a boutique in Harare before opening his own shop in Gweru, to sell the stolen merchandise.
Surely, how more daring can one become?
He was nabbed after a shootout with the police, which left him injured on the leg.
The suspect, along with his accomplices, broke into the boutique and stole clothes worth over US$23 000.
That is quite a considerable investment for a small business.
In another case, a Harare businessman lost 158 grammes of gold, a gold scale, US$5010 and a cellphone to two bogus policemen.
The two produced fake police identity cards and warned the Harare dealer that he was under arrest for illegally dealing in gold.
They ordered him to take the gold and money in the office as exhibits.
After kidnapping the victim, they drove around Belgravia, in Harare, before they robbed him of his valuables.
The two suspects are on the run.
In the third story, an Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe finance manager was arraigned before the courts for duping his church of more than US$70 000.
The suspect was granted $150 000 bail.
Although he is still innocent until proven guilty, such cases show the extent to which the love for money can drive people to.
Christians, who were known to be God-fearing people, now find themselves being linked with serious offences involving fraud and adultery.
In the Evangelical Church case, the finance manager – believed to be one of the most trusted employees – has betrayed the church and the congregants, if the allegations against him are really true.
Milking church coffers of more than US$70 000 shows that we have people who have the guts to steal from the house of the Lord.
A number of people that we have trusted have turned out to be nothing but scammers who can do anything to make money, whenever they get the opportunity.
However, it is the increase in robbery cases, especially involving armed robbers, which shows that a lot of people’s lives are now at risk.
The sad reality is that they are also targeting small enterprises and robbing them of their hard-earned cash and stock, which can destroy the dreams of many entrepreneurs who just want to earn a clean living.
Shop owners should beef up their security while the police are also expected to intensify patrols.
Many of the armed robbers are habitual offenders, which shows that they have not, or might never, repent.
The gun culture, which is prevalent in South Africa, appears to be spreading here given the significant increase in the armed robbery cases.