From a reader:- ‘On Thursday 16 September, my parents and I were driving back from South Africa. At about 2.45/3pm, about 15km the Masvingo side of Umvuma (205km from Harare), we came across a young lady who had stopped at a lay-bye. The lay-bye is on the lefthand side of the road, facing Harare. This poor lady had been desperate to make a stop and was unfortunately attacked. There were two attackers, they appeared from nowhere and beat her. They seemed intent on killing her. She fought them and was able to get away from them and ran out onto the road for help. They stole her suitcase and handbag and other personal belongings and took her car keys then ran off into the bush. Other passersby had already stopped when we got there and were kindly looking for her belongings in the bushes. They were lucky enough to find her car keys. I then drove her car and she rode with my parents. We drove to the Police Station at Umvuma to report the incident and then we continued on to Harare to get her to a medical facility, where she was met by her family and friends. The attackers used a big stick to beat her and she had a big gash on her head. They tried to strangle her and she is somewhat battered and bruised from the ordeal. She was extremely brave and we believe that she saved herself by fighting back. While she was being beaten, cars were driving past and each time, the attackers tried to hold her down behind the car so that she could not be seen. We have since heard that there was another attack at the same lay-bye just yesterday! When we were reporting the incident to the police, they told us that there have been other attacks recently at the same site.
Please be warned that these attackers have not yet been found and a number of incidents have recently been reported in the same sort of area and around Masvingo. As we left the border at Beit Bridge, we were warned not to stop at lay-byes or we would be robbed. We have personally seen the victim of one of these attacks now. These are not just rumours - the attacks are actually happening. These warnings are to be taken very seriously. This lady is extremely lucky to have survived to tell the tale. PLEASE TAKE CARE.’