By Darlington Gatsi
THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) will embark on an operation to clampdown unregistered vehicles, touts and illegal transporters in efforts to bring order in Harare.
There has been an increase of public transport operators plying routes in Harare since the government gave a green-light for their services to resume after a suspension due to COVID-19.
This has brought back touts and mushikashika into the heart of the central business district.
ZRP says the clampdown is an attempt to address the problem which has turned the capital into a chaotic zone.
“Most vehicles plying the country’s roads are either not registered or the vehicle owners deliberately remove number plates to avoid identification,” the country’s police service said in a statement.
“These unruly elements have reduced Harare from a Sunshine City status to a dirty and chaotic city. It is against this background that the district shall embark on an operation to clean up and restore sanity in greater Harare, through arresting of touts, mushika-shika operators, street car washers and car repairers operating at undesignated places.
“The District shall also impound vehicles violating traffic by-laws and involved in committing robberies and other related cases.”
In May this year, police embarked on a similar operation which led to transport shortages with the public transport operator Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) being overwhelmed.
There has also been an increase in cases of crimes relating to people boarding mushikashika.
ZRP also said there will be penalties issued against passengers who board illegal transport at undesignated points.
“The following are the major characteristics of the operation: Awareness Campaigns discouraging the public from boarding unregistered, plateless and mushika-shika vehicles.
“Arresting of commuters who hitch-hike at undesignated pick-up points. Arresting motorists who remain stationary at dangerous places, drive against one way or/ oncoming traffic and proceed against red robots ensuring smooth flow of both human and vehicular traffic,” the memo further reads.