By Alois Vinga
ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) and public transport operators are headed for a collision course over the decision to gear up arrest of drivers for failure to stick to the stipulated movement timetables on route permits.
The ZRP spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi Thursday said the police had noted with concern the conduct of some public service vehicle drivers who are not complying with timetables on route permits resulting in the drivers being dragged into dangerous and reckless road races for passengers.
He said such anomalies have resulted in road traffic accidents.
“In a bid to ensure compliance with road traffic rules and regulations by public service vehicle, the Zimbabwe Republic Police will with immediate effect heighten enforcement on compliance with route permits timetables.
“Owners of public service vehicles are therefore advised to adhere to the dictates of their route permits and timetables forthwith. We appeal to public service vehicle owners to cooperate with officers to ensure sanity prevails on the roads,” he said.
But reacting to the development, Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors (ZUDAC) president Fradreck Maguramhinga urged the police to first conclude consultations with key stakeholders.
“You will recall that some of the laws were enacted way back during the Rhodesian era and in the first decade or so after attainment of independence when the majority of the populace were still formally employed. So it was easy to regulate the movement of public transport because most people left their places of residence before 8am in the morning.
“But now things have changed. Most citizens are operating in the informal economy and movement cannot be strictly regulated by the book. In fact citizens are always moving to and from even beyond midnight,” he said.
He pleaded with the ZRP to initiate a round table over the decision as a matter of urgency in a bid to find a better solution.
“As operators we are not trying to deter the ZRP from enforcing the law but we believe that consultation before full implementation will result in a win- win solution to this,” he added.