Indications are that thieves and robbers who had taken an informal leave at the height of the cash crisis have now made a firm return as the economy continues to re-dollarise.
Ever since the government reintroduced the Zimbabwean dollar back in June of last year they have faced an insurmountable hurdle as people have continuously and firmly rejected the local dollar for the most part in local transactions.
True the majority of local transactions are being conducted in the local currency, mostly in electronic funds (RTGS as the currency is known in street parlance), the truth is that even in such cases the Zimbabwean dollar is just being used to express and execute transactions that are based and premised on the US dollar. At the upmost in the minds of all those involved in the trade is the current black market rate.
Robberies on the rise
The informal return of the US dollar has also coincided with a period where we are seeing more and more people falling into poverty. However, this is coming at a time when more and more people are carrying are much more lucrative currency in their pockets and bags.
Because the return is informal and if you take your money to deposit it you will probably never see it ever again most people are using their wardrobes and pillows as banks and in the process making themselves attractive targets.
There has been a marked increase in robbers in recent months. One such incident involved a family that had received significant money as party of the bride’s price (roora/lobola). Alert robbers pounced that evining and got away with the loot.
That is another worrying characteristic of these robberies. They seem to be especially targeted and surgical. There have been other cases when robbers appear to have trailed illegal money dealers for 10s of kilometers before pouncing.
In a follow up article we will look at sensible easy tips that can help you avoid being the next target of these persky robbers.