Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Police have impounded over 100 vehicles in an operation codenamed “Kwete Mushikashika” aimed at clamping down on all pirate taxis and ranks in all towns countrywide. Speaking after viewing the impounded vehicles at Chikurubi Support Unit yesterday, ZRP spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said most of the vehicles were not roadworthy and did not appear on the Central Vehicle Registry system.
The operation, which started three days ago, is ongoing until the end of the year. Vehicles that have been impounded include commuter omnibuses and private cars that were being used as taxis and shuttles. Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the vehicles will not be released until the owners showed authentic documents.
“The ZRP traffic section is conducting an operation to get rid of all mushikashika vehicles. We have already conducted some CVR checks and discovered that most of the impounded vehicles are not licensed, and not in the CVR system.
“We believe that some of these vehicles have been used to commit crimes in the form of hit and run accidents. The cars could also have been smuggled since they do not have proper documents. During the past month we have experienced an increase hit and run accidents where people have been killed and maimed including police officers.
“We are saying to mushikashika operators’ time is up and we are not play hide and seek with you. We mean business and we are going to clear the town of any mushikashika,” she said. Senior Asst Comm Charamba applauded motorists in Bulawayo whom she said were co-operating with police and were more organised and not ferrying people on undesignated areas.
“We are appealing to members of the public not to board vehicles at undesignated areas. Some of these vehicles have been involved in robbery cases where they offer transport and rob the people. If you do not give them business they will not flourish as they are doing.
“Most of the vehicles are in a terrible state. Some of the vehicles do not have windowpanes but have plastic and are still on the road. These drivers have the tendency of changing registration numbers and it has become a challenge to locate them when they commit crimes,” she said.
Harare Officer Commanding Traffic Section Senior Assistant Commissioner Fellie Chikowero Mjanga said the section was also facing challenges in that CVR was not computerised.
“Some of the vehicles are registered but because the CVR is still manual, it takes long before the data is captured in the computer,” she said.
“It is unlawful to use an unregistered vehicle and we are not going to release all the unregistered vehicles,” she said.