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Police crackdown on pirate taxis nets 600

by Staff reporter
28 Apr 2022 at 08:55hrs | Views
NEARLY 600 pirate taxis usually called mushikashika, unregistered cars, street kids controlling traffic and vendors operating at intersections were arrested in Harare yesterday on the first day of a major police operation aimed at restoring order to the streets and decongesting the city.

Apart from the police, the operation included other stakeholders such as the Zimbabwe National Road Administration, Vehicle Inspection Department, the Department of Social Welfare and the four Harare Metropolitan local authorities: Chitungwiza Municipality, Epworth Local Board, Harare City Council and Ruwa Local Board.

In Harare, the operation was conducted in the full range of police districts: Harare Central, Harare Suburban, Mbare, Chitungwiza, Traffic, Harare East, Harare South and Harare North.

Of the 591 arrested, 389 were motorists who had their cars impounded, 164 were vendors, 19 illegal money-changers and 19 street kids or vagrants.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the operation had since spread countrywide.

"The operation is continuing and it is not only being conducted in Harare but in almost every province. We will release a consolidated report tomorrow (today) about the arrests made in other provinces."

Police have reiterated that the public must avoid boarding pirate taxis or using their private vehicles as pirate taxis as they risk falling prey to robbers.

Only Zupco buses, long distance buses and Zupco-affiliated kombis are allowed to operate as public transport.

Police in Harare Province on Tuesday said they were worried by the congestion during peak hours and the number of criminal cases emanating from the pirate taxis and non-Zupco kombis and buses.

A number of robberies, rapes and thefts have occurred where victims fall prey to the illegal transporters who present themselves as genuine transporters.

Every week, many passengers and motorists have lost cash, cars and goods to armed robbers in separate incidents while a motorcycle belonging to the Government was stolen at a clinic in Shamva, with reports of crimes continuing to be made countrywide.

Most of the passengers were robbed after being offered lifts in and around Harare.

Last Friday, a 25-year-old Harare man lost property valued at US$750 after boarding a grey Toyota Wish with two occupants at Mbudzi roundabout destined for the city centre.

The same day, another man aged 37 lost property worth US$893 to four robbers after boarding a black Toyota Wish at Puma Service Station in Zengeza going to the city centre.

On April 21, a motorist driving a Honda Fit along Liberation Legacy Way, lost property valued at US$300 after picking up four passengers.

The suspects grabbed the victim from behind and threatened him with a knife before robbing him.

Source - The Herald
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