Police crackdown on unlicensed vehicles in Zimbabwe
Traffic authorities in Zimbabwe launched a nationwide enforcement operation targeting illegal vehicles and drivers. So far over 19,000 motorists have been arrested for various infractions. The majority of arrests were for operating unregistered “pirate taxis”, known locally as mushikashika. Other arrests included 509 drivers operating without proper route permits and 257 for reckless driving.
Transport regulations are often ignored, especially in urban areas. Authorities hope this coordinated effort between police, traffic officials, and other agencies will boost compliance with road laws. Vehicles driven in violation may be impounded until owners show valid documents and clearance from inspection departments.
While improving road safety, the crackdown has also impacted commuters. Some legal transport operators have raised fares, taking advantage of reduced competition. Passengers associations report fares as high as $2.50 USD to outlying towns, instead of the usual rates. There are also reports of passengers being dropped far from destinations as drivers try to avoid arrest. Commuter groups are urging authorities to address the issue.
However, larger registered transport companies continue serving routes as usual. With fewer illegal kombis on the roads, they can now operate more services. The operation aims to restore lawful transportation while protecting passengers from unfair treatment during the transition period.