Mobile Money vendors have bemoaned the current armed robbery attacks targeted at them. According to these vendors, their safety is no longer guaranteed as they have become a target for robbery. Each passing day, they hear of a member being robbed in broad daylight.
The complains follows a 26-year-old mobile money vendor who was shot dead at Techiman on Thursday, August 13, adding to the tall list of persons who have either been wounded or killed by armed robbers in the cause of attacks.
Speaking to GhanaWeb on the back of the challenges they face in the business, a woman by name, Regina, recalled how a friend was attacked and wounded in June this year by some unknown men who made away with all her money.
“Two months ago, a lady (mobile money vendor) was also attacked. They took away all her possessions and stabbed her with a knife. I used to close late but due to the attacks I now close at 7:00 pm.”
She again recounted that 3 weeks ago, she was nearly robbed by three young men at her location at Presby Junction in Dzorwulu. According to Regina, she no longer feels safe but has to come to work in other to make ends meet.
“We are suffering… sometimes when you call the police during a robbery, the robbers would have absconded because they (police) arrived late. There is no form of security for us. It is just by the grace of God,” she lamented.
Another mobile money vendor, Sarkodie, mentioned that one needs to be smart in order to stay in business.
He advised his colleagues to deposit huge sums of money collected during the day to the bank adding that carrying large amounts of money will only expose one to robbers.
In his words, “We don’t have any form of security; you can only be careful… we send it (money) to the bank in the day because we know how these robbers operate” adding that instances where their phones are being taken away, they can always reactivate their sim cards and get back into the business.
We have become targets of robbery – ‘Momo’ vendors lament
On March 25, 2019, a 26-year-old mobile money vendor, Kate Aidoo, suffered an acid attack when two robbers poured the substance on her face and breast before bolting with her money. The robbers were arrested by some individuals who heard the screams from the victim.
Speaking on how vendors can protect themselves in these times, Mr. Adu-Poku, a mobile money vendor advised that they operate in active spaces where people can come to their rescue in such instances.
“Most of us close late and this exposes us to robbers. They can monitor your movements and later attack you. Some people also operate anywhere. These robbers will attack you once they see nobody coming in your direction”.