Since the start of Operation Tame the Traffic Jungle on 12 September 2023, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has arrested more than 12,200 mushika-shika operators.
“Mushika-shika” is a term commonly used in Zimbabwe to refer to informal public transportation, particularly unlicensed minibuses or vans that operate outside of formal transport systems. In a statement seen by Pindula News, police said:
The ZRP reports that a total of 34 123 arrests have been effected during the on-going operation, “Tame the Traffic Jungle”. 1 006 arrests have been made on vehicles without route permits while 12 291 arrests have been made on illegal pirate taxis (mushikashika). 333 motorists have been arrested for reckless driving, while 2 298 people have been arrested for touting. Meanwhile, 891 vehicles have been impounded for moving on the roads with no registration plates.
The operation aims to address the widespread disregard for traffic laws, particularly in major cities and towns. Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi previously stated that instances such as driving against traffic flow, running red lights, and reckless lane violations have contributed to chaos and congestion.
Nyathi also said the Police will enforce the law impartially. He said unregistered vehicles, including those with temporary plates, will be confiscated. Nyathi said the Central Vehicle Registry has sufficient number plates, so there is no excuse for vehicle owners not to register within two weeks after importation. He said the Police will address heavy vehicles that violate regulations by traversing residential areas instead of designated routes outlined by national rules and local by-laws.