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Zimbabwe police blitz leaves commuters stranded

by Staff reporter
14 Sep 2023 at 01:39hrs | Views
Thousands of commuters in Harare and other urban areas were left stranded on a recent day when the police launched an operation targeting unlicensed commuter omnibuses and pirate taxis. While authorities framed it as an operation to enforce traffic regulations and reduce lawlessness on the roads, some commuters believed it was punitive, viewing it as a response to the overwhelming support for the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) in the recent elections.

During the operation, police impounded vehicles, but in some cases, they did not charge drivers or vehicle owners. Commuters faced challenges finding transport, as kombi crews avoided police roadblocks on major roads leading to the city center, forcing passengers to walk part of their journeys.

Commuters expressed frustration, believing that the operation disrupted their daily routines and made it difficult to reach their destinations on time. The Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors supported the initiative's goal of maintaining order but raised concerns about the implementation. They argued that even vehicles with necessary documentation were being impounded. They suggested that the operation should consider different phases based on compliance levels and focus more on vehicles lacking proper paperwork.

A leaked circular from the Criminal Investigation Department highlighted concerns about lawlessness on the roads, particularly in major cities, and criticized kombi drivers for disregarding traffic laws. It mentioned that pirate taxis had taken over the passenger transport industry.

While some passengers welcomed the operation as a means to improve safety and cleanliness in cities, they called for a clear transport policy to guide such operations.

In summary, the police operation targeting unlicensed commuter omnibuses and pirate taxis left many commuters stranded and raised concerns about its impact on the transportation system. Some believed it was punitive, while others saw it as a necessary step to address lawlessness on the roads.

Source - newsday