Massive crackdown on unlicensed kombis and mushikashika taxis hits commuters hard


A significant police operation targeting unlicensed commuter omnibuses and pirate taxis in Harare and other urban centres left thousands of commuters stranded yesterday.

The operation, known as Phase 2 Operation Tame the Traffic Jungle, quickly drew criticism from commuters who believed it was a punitive measure against urban residents who predominantly voted for the opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party led by .

During the operation, police impounded vehicles without formally charging the drivers or owners. As a result, many commuters in Harare were forced to continue their journeys on foot after being dropped off before reaching their destinations, as kombi crews sought to avoid police roadblocks on major routes leading to the city center.

Some frustrated commuters expressed their belief that the government was intentionally punishing them for their overwhelming support for the CCC. They compared the situation to the challenges they faced with electricity supply. The operation’s impact on commuters was significant, as they were being dropped off outside the city center due to the fear of arrests by kombi crews, severely affecting their ability to reach their desired destinations on time.

A leaked circular from Assistant Commissioner Jealous Nyabasa, the acting chief director of the Criminal Investigation Department which was seen by NewsDay, revealed that lawlessness on the roads, particularly in major cities, had reached unacceptable levels. Nyabasa accused kombi drivers of disregarding traffic laws and stated that pirate taxis had taken over the passenger transport industry.

Overall, the operation caused significant disruptions for commuters, prompting discussions about the implementation process and the need for a well-defined transport policy in Zimbabwe.

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