Over 1k touts arrested in Operation Tame the Traffic Jungle
19 September 2023
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The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has arrested over 1000 touts (mahwindi) nationwide as part of the ongoing Operation Tame the Traffic Jungle. According to a police statement seen by Pindula News, 530 vehicles have also been seized for operating without registration plates on the roads.

Read the statement:

The ZRP reports that a total of 19,039 arrests have been effected during the ongoing operation, “Tame the Traffic Jungle. 509 arrests have been made on vehicles without route permits while 7 890 arrests have been made on illegal pirate taxis (mushikashika). 257 motorists have been arrested for reckless driving, while 1 164 people have been arrested for touting. Meanwhile, 530 vehicles have been impounded for moving on the roads with no registration plates.

Police launched the operation across all provinces of the country starting on September 12, 2023. The operation aims to address the widespread disregard for traffic laws, particularly in major cities and towns.

In an earlier statement, police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi stated that instances such as driving against traffic flow, running red lights, and reckless lane violations have contributed to chaos and congestion.

Some analysts, however, attribute traffic congestion in Zimbabwean cities like Harare to insufficient infrastructure, poor traffic management, inefficient public transportation, inadequate parking facilities, and rapid urbanisation. They say these factors result in increased reliance on private vehicles, inadequate road capacity, and traffic flow disruptions.

The public transport system in Zimbabwe collapsed in the early 2000s due to a combination of economic challenges and poor governance. Factors such as hyperinflation, fuel shortages, lack of infrastructure maintenance, and overall economic decline contributed to the collapse. This led to a decline in the quality and availability of public transportation services, impacting the mobility and accessibility of the population. The collapse resulted in a reliance on informal and often unsafe modes of transportation, exacerbating the transportation challenges faced by Zimbabweans.

Therefore, addressing mshika-shika and touts alone won’t solve Zimbabwe’s transportation challenges. Comprehensive solutions require infrastructure development, improved public transportation, regulations, economic stability, and job creation.