By Staff Reporter
Police in Gweru are cracking down on pirate taxis, popularly known as mushikashika, with more than 80 vehicles impounded so far, Gweru Gazette can reveal.
Police say the move is partly to minimize robberies involving cars pretending to be pirate taxis that have increased of late and also to enforce public transport licensing regulations.
Speaking to journalists in Gweru, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko said police has for long warned the illegal taxi operators and have now stepped up efforts to get rid of them.
“In Gweru Urban District, we are running an operation against conduct of public passenger service businesses by unlicensed motor vehicles commonly reffered to as Mshika-shika.
“We are on record for long time warning owners of private motor vehicles with interests in passenger transport business that they should regularise their operations by applying for operator’s licenses.
“We have moved a gear up to remove them from the roads,” he said.
Inspector Mahoko said vehicles unlicensed for public transportation should get off the road and police will not tolerate any resistance.
Those who resost will now have their vehicles impounded and charged under the Road Transportation Act.
“We expect cooperation,” he said, “as this is in terms of the Law.
“Motor vehicles that ignore our calls are being impounded and charged under the Road Motor Transportation Act Chapter 13:15.
“For now we are accepting fines from those who admit their offences.
“Those who wish to be heard in court will be afforded the opportunity. Repeat offenders will also be taken to court,” Inspector Mahoko said.
To date, about 80 cars have been impounded which include 42 Honda Fit vehicles and 38 commuter omnibuses/Kombis.
Mahoko said the operation also comes as Police is struggling with armed robbers disguised as pirate taxis.
“May the public also take note that of late we are grappling with armed robberies where private motor vehicles purporting to be pirating for public passenger transport services are involved,” Inspector Mahoko said.
ZRP Gweru clamp down on mshikashika, 8o vehicles impounded
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