POLICE will soon launch a massive blitz to rid Harare of pirate taxis following a meeting between Home Affairs Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri over the matter last week. Pirate taxis, commonly known as Mushikashika, have been causing havoc in the city centre over the last few months with unruly behaviour on the roads.
Minister Chombo said the pirate taxis were breaking the law and police should get rid of them. He said this in the Senate on Thursday during a Questions without Notice Session while responding to Mashonaland East Senator Chief Musarurwa who sought to know what Government was doing to stop the menace caused by pirate taxis.
“It is true that Harare in particular, kombi drivers and a new breed of kombis — very small cars with four to five doors which are loaded with five or six or seven people, is very unsafe and insecure,” said Minister Chombo. “They are beginning to ply city roads. To make it even worse, they are behaving like kombis or taxis taking away the functions of commercially registered taxis or kombis.
“These vehicles have not been inspected or checked or certified to be on our roads. Sometimes they are driven at very high speeds in order to get passengers. This is distorting and confusing the public in terms of how they arrange their trips and plans,” said the minister.
“We have also noticed when they are driving and if there is pressure on one side of the road they will use the wrong side of the road.” Minister Chombo said for the police should arrest all law breakers without fear or favour. He said it was the responsibility of the City of Harare to register taxis and urged the city fathers to play their part in decongesting the roads.
“We had a meeting last week with the Commissioner General on this matter and there is going to be a blitz very soon so that we check all these cars as to what they are doing in the city centre,” said Dr Chombo. “Some are used as selling points for cellphones, radios and even clothing. So really, the police are on your side honourable senator Chief Musarurwa and they are doing all they can.
“In the next few days there will be a serious blitz to make sure that we bring sanity to our cities, in particular the City of Harare,” said Minister Chombo. Meanwhile minister Chombo said it was not Government policy for police to stop citizens from engaging in demonstrations.
He was responding to MDC-T senator for Midlands, Mr Morgan Komichi who sought to know whether it was Government policy to ban MDC-T demonstrations. Minister Chombo said demonstrations were constitutional but conveners were expected to inform the police so that they put mechanisms in place to maintain peace and tranquility during the demonstrations.
He said the forthcoming One Million Man March organised by the Zanu-PF Youth League had been cleared by the police because they applied on time. herald