Lovemore Meya Herald Correspondent
Rowdy Chitungwiza commuter omnibus drivers and private car owners have wreaked havoc in the dormitory town, kidnapping Park Rite marshals protesting their arrest. Park Rite is owned by Clyna Trading, a company that entered into a five-year partnership deal with Chitungwiza Municipality. Clyna Trading Operations manager Mr Obrien Rwafa said more than two officials are being kidnapped and assaulted on a daily basis by unruly elements protesting their arrest.
“There are reports in the media that we are being involved in high speed chase. I am not sure where that is coming from because as a company we have a policy. It is known to everybody that we do not chase after commuter omnibuses for a simple reason that Chitungwiza is a residential area.
“As a matter of policy, we do not embark on high speed chases. On few occasions that our vehicles have pursued is when one of our officers would have been abducted. It has happened many times that one gets in, identifies himself or herself as a traffic police officer the next thing the driver takes off to an unknown destination,” he said.
Mr Rwafa said they have situations where the gang went away with their officers and assaulted him. “One of the saddest cases is that of Doubt Manukula, they went away with him and assaulted him with an iron bar and the medical affidavit is there. Just yesterday (last Thursday) Brian Kazungu (33) was abducted and the driver went with him as far as Manyame River where he was almost drowned and the case is being handled by the police,” he said.
Mr Rwafa said they have enough mechanisms to deal with them in a situation they refused to cooperate. “We simply get the vehicle number issues ticket or tickets based on the number of offences committed. When the operators come at the end month to council to buy an operations license, we withhold the operator’s permit until the issues have been resolved,” he added.
He said Kazungu’s case has been reported to St Mary’s police on case number 2569537 with Daniel expected to appear in court today on kidnapping charges. In an interview with some commuter omnibus drivers, they lambasted their counterparts for misbehaving. “I ply Makoni-Dema route, we do not have problems with Park Rite marshal since after paying for our operator’s permit that is all required. The only problem taking place is that there are some unruly elements within especially unlicensed drivers who relive the route driver.
“They are the ones who are going against the by-laws and after being arrested, end up driving to unknown destinations with the marshals,” said Michael Chaminuka. Tapfumaneyi Gutsa who operates Makoni-Machipisa route said it was unfortunate that they were failing to meet half way.
“I cannot dispute that such cases are there since what we noted is communication breakdown. A passenger waits at an undesignated pick up point and the next thing if you stop there, you get arrested. “However, we plead from the officials to bear with us since some of the pickup and drop points they aligned to us needs attention,” he said.
Chitungwiza Municipality spokesperson Mr Zephania Mandirahwe could not be reached for comment.