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Monday, September 21, 2015

Crime in Bulawayo

Crime Awareness Bulawayo

Written and compiled by Tracey Conway Burns

01/07/15 – 09/09/15

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."


Martin-Luther King Jnr



Well it had to happen!  My continual criticism of the horrendous driving in Bulawayo now happened to my girls and I on Friday 04th September 2015.


Driving along Cecil Avenue, towards Hillside Road, the infamous intersection of Banff Road, going into Fairbridge Road.  An unlicensed young woman (Miss N) drove straight through the Give Way into the left side of my car, causing me to spin 2 x 360 degrees and another 90 degrees.  I am so thankful that Jesus took the wheel, as we were protected.  I am glad I did not brake and that there were no other cars coming along.


I jumped out the car and shouted why she did not give way and then looked at my girls who were passengers in my car.  One twin was in the front and thankfully the seat belt had stopped her being flung around.  She sat dead quiet and still in the car and I thought the worst.  I talked to her and when she batted her eyelids I knew it was shock.  The other twin who was sitting behind her, thankfully had not worn her seat belt (which she usually is so fastidious about) and she was flung around in the back.  Her door received the main impact from the other vehicle and if she were in a seat belt she would have had very serious injuries. Miss N came running to me grabbing my hand saying she had a serious problem.  I said yes, my daughter was trapped in the car, she said no, she was sorry about the accident, but please could her boyfriend take the blame, as she was unlicensed.  I told her she was asking the wrong person to do this as I am already on a “campaign” to stop the bad driving and the unlicensed drivers in Bulawayo, and that she should never have been behind the wheel in the first place.


My thanks go to Mrs C K, who gave the twins a sweet and also controlled the traffic.  She also called her father, Mr B De S who I had worked with in Business Against Crime, as I was wanting the traffic police (which I knew Hillside does not have) and she called him (thanks Brian) who called both Traffic and Net Star to collect my girls.  Mr G I came and gave us all some Coca Cola to drink for shock.  The twin in the front of my car had to be lifted gingerly out the driver’s door as the passenger doors could not be opened at all.  Her twin was crying about her sister. Final results, twin one injured her collar bone, shoulder and elbow and both twins have neck braces for whiplash.  I am just very stiff and sore along my spine.  The main thing, we all walked away with our lives and not badly hurt at all.


The frustrating thing is that too many accidents are happening and the procedures one has to go through.  The young woman obviously was not insured but her boyfriend who was in the car with her, and it was his vehicle only had 3rd Party.  I found out that 3rd party means they pay for the injured ONLY!!! Full 3rd Party, they pay for injured and the victims vehicle.


What needs to be done:


1.    Notorious intersections that have had many accidents need to be correctly marked whether by having traffic lights to control, bigger speed bumps and clear markings on the road.

2.    I feel that if so many people can afford the cars coming in, then they can all afford to pay Fully Comprehensive Insurance.  Why must the ones who do get themselves covered always have to put our insurance companies to use when the ones who are causing the accidents seem to get away with a US$ 20 fine for Negligent driving or driving without due care?

3.    Too many people over the years have bought their licences, majority because they cannot be bothered to do the proper course and others out of sheer exasperation of bribing and having to go for repeats on their driving tests.  We need to get to the correct side on all of these issues.  This all needs to be relooked at since even when I got my licence and that is over 30 years ago there was corruption taking place.

4.    The police have lost total control of the situation with the driving, mainly because so many of their friends own ET’s, the little private cars that stop to collect passengers (known as pirate taxis).  They need to get stricter the infrastructure has always been there, it is just not been properly monitored.  Has anyone driven to Drill Hall, as the ET’s are horrendous along Herbert Chitepo Avenue, and the rest of the streets that run parallel to Herbert Chitepo.

5.    I noticed over two years ago how suddenly the Traffic Safety Board were going around to schools, all in the latest and newest vehicles.  Where are they these days?


The tricks that have been noted from accidents from the driver in the wrong:


1.    Sometimes he/she drives away without stopping.

2.    The driver gives a false name and ID no.

3.    In court somebody else takes the blame and victims have noted that the driver in the dock is not the original driver.

4.    The driver jumps into the ambulance and runs away from hospital.

5.    Dockets are “lost”

6.    Money speaks loud in some instances.


At an accident scene:


1.    With worrying about the accident, one has to worry about the “rent a crowd” where some people are genuine in wanting to help, but others just come to steal what they can.  Be very careful of ipad’s, ipods, tablets, lap tops etc.

2.    Also, because of the series of horrific accidents that have claimed so many lives, people are very “short fused”.  I had a few people who were ready to fight verbally and physically just because of what has happened recently.  People control your tempers, if you are not going to be of any help rather keep your mouth shut and observe or drive off.


The sheer frustration now of trying to get everything done through police and insurance and assessors is enough to drive one to eat more chocolate!!!  I now have the inconvenience of running around when I can, to get all the necessary details and to borrow a vehicle plus try to find one to purchase without being ripped off! Plus more importantly how do I get to victims, as there has been an increase in robberies and assaults, all because of one person’s inconsiderate action.




This notice issued as follows:                                                                                                                                          G.Makoni

Registrar of Central Vehicle Registry


General Notice 238 of 2015.


Notice of intention to cancel registration of vehicles not licensed or exempted


It is hereby notified, in terms of section 12 (c) of the Vehicle Registration and Licensing Act (Chapter13:14), that the Registrar intends to cancel the registration of vehicles not licensed or exempted for a period of two or more years as at 12th March, 2015 which are listed in the schedule (Government Gazette-28 August 2015)


Affected parties are hereby notified to approach the Central Vehicle Registry to regularize their vehicles or the Zimbabwe National Road Administration to negotiate a payment plan or pay the outstanding arrears within thirty days from the date of publication of this notice.





Just to let you know that I have been mugged yesterday evening whilst I was closing my Gate at 8 p.m. 

A guy jumped at me, threw me to the ground and as I started screaming he tried to throttle and gag me. Fortunately my wife did hear my screams and as she opened the back-door she also started screaming and the dog charged.  The accacker bolted empty handed. 

I am bruised on the neck, face, arms etc. and at 86 this is quite a shock.   


We live in the Fortunes Gate area and I am sure that criminals are living at the Hillside Dam and Circular Drive area. 



We would just like to let our customers know that both the Tropica signposts were dug out and stolen on Thursday night. We are not sure when or if we will be able to replace them but we want you all to know that Tropica is still open. Sad that this sort of thing is now starting to happen in Bulawayo.



From the Anti Hijack Harare


There is definitely an increase in crime with theft… cash being the biggest sort after commodity. It is not wise to leave large sums of money in your homes or businesses  … even for one night … have the armed security division of your security company send a team to collect your money and have it delivered safely to the Bank. 


When drawing large sums of money from the bank, be very weary you are not being watched and then followed, do not leave large sums of money unattended or left in a vehicle this spells disaster!  Unemployment rate is on the increase so be vigilant at all times.


There have been reports of a Black Mercedes cruising in public car parks outside supermarkets surveying the area and will try to distract you by waving an object in your face and then swiftly grab handbags or valuables that are in view. It is best to keep doors locked even when inside the vehicle in these public areas. When shopping, do not have large sums of money on you as you just may be under surveillance and a prime target after leaving the tills. 


The jamming of locking mechanisms is still happening … be sure your vehicle is locked by manually checking the handle before leaving your vehicle. This takes only extra seconds to check and is peace of mind in the long run.




There are still a number of people getting beaten up in home robberies or whilst walking on the roads, children getting traumatized from the break-in or violent attack.  Remember children suffer just as adults, and victims need to talk it out.  So if you are a concerned parent, please organize for the child to see me or someone who will listen.  Please do not hesitate to contact me for counseling or a shoulder to cry on.


Crime Awareness is into its 15th year of operation in Bulawayo and I am into my 18th year since being involved with the Anti Hijack Trust in Harare.  Years of experience and I have managed to guide a number of people around Zimbabwe into operating business-like affairs in conjunction with Neighbourhood Watch etc.


I do not charge for counseling victims – they are survivors in my eyes – so naturally I still need a great deal of donations and support from the communities that I hold dear to my heart.




If any company or individual wants to donate something towards Crime Awareness Bulawayo, please do not hesitate to contact me. 


Please assist where possible


·         URGENTLY REQUIRED – New COMPUTER hard drive, keyboard and mouse – mine is just too old and very nearly ready to pack in!! WHICH YOU WILL KNOW WHEN THE UPDATES STOP ALL TOGETHER………

·         Stationery – new printer cartridges for Canon being black 512 and colour 513, and any other stationery – especially as I need to print out my updates and have hard copies!

·         Payment towards ADSL - only US$ 25 a month

·         Fuel is always needed





I have the following companies and individuals to thank for donations and services already received this year and going to continue: 


Acacia Insurance

Apollo Tyres (originally Dunlop Zimbabwe and they still make Dunlop Tyres)


Compu Pro

Farm Fresh

Fawcett Security

Femina Garments

Iway Africa (Mweb)

Mine Machines

Safari Insurance Brokers

Safeguard Bulawayo

Trentyre Bulawayo

Toyota Bulawayo



All the people who give me words of encouragement and support THANK YOU.





I have contacts for the following:

·         Latest Alarms and installations

·         Various Lighting Advice and imported LED lighting – note South Africa is banning all incandescent lighting as from 2016 – replace your lights now with LED’s. 

·         Flood Lights in LED 10W, 20W and 50W is available, plus flood lights that change colours, all done with remotes to set up in gardens etc.  Lowers all electricity costs considerably.




Crime Awareness Tracey Conway-Burns BULAWAYO direct:  0712-701 323


EMRAS  (Emergency Ambulance Services) in Bulawayo: 09-62611


MARS (Medical Air Rescue Services Ambulance) in Bulawayo: 09 – 64082



24 Hour Instant Hijack Reaction Team in Bulawayo: 09-885479 (Stops Camp)

CID Central Police Station Bulawayo: 09-75168 (Wk Hours)

CID Central Police Station Bulawayo: 09-66306 (24 Hours)

They are fully armed.  Call them if you have been hijacked as soon as physically possible.

24 hour National Complaints Line (04) 703 631


Childline Bulawayo (child abuse, rape etc)  :09-888891 or (toll free) 882761


The Haven Trust (a transitional home for abused women and their children) 09-242071

                          Fax No:  09-286151 Mobile Nos:  0712-231 309 / 0775-174 443


Musasa Project Bulawayo (abused wives and families, rape):09-880112 or 09-882888


24 Hour Clinic - Margaran House S. Pairienyatwa between 9th and 8th Avenues.

Dr C Sururu or other doctors are on duty every day and night

Tel:  (09) 60952

Cell: 0712 - 881 439


Know your police station numbers for your area.




Please contact me for any talks for schools, companies, groups or questions on individual security, etc on or cell phone no: 0712-701 323, for your bookings or questions so that I can place it in my diary.




P O Box 9161




Please note that anyone who wants to quote in writing any information that I have stated in my updates for the past 15 years, to please verify with me that I will allow you to use it, in case it is a sensitive issue where just a word out of place can result in upsetting individuals and to acknowledge use by placing it under Crime Awareness Bulawayo including any other quotes I have used, to mention them – state it all correctly.

Tracey Conway-Burns – UNQUOTE


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