Police in no-holds barred mood this Easter

POLICE will take decisive action against pirate taxis commonly known as mushikashikas, and buses operating illegally during this Easter long weekend.

They will impound unroadworthy vehicles and arrest those driving under the influence of alcohol. All unlicenced liquor outlets and shebeens will be closed.

The blitz is expected to curb traffic accidents and generally improve public safety and order.

In a statement yesterday, police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga said police officers will be heavily deployed countrywide to enforce traffic rules and curb all criminal activities.

“As the country braces for the Easter holidays, the Zimbabwe Republic Police takes this opportunity to assure Zimbabweans and visitors that police deployments have been enhanced to curb crime and road traffic accidents.

“My office has implored police commanders across the country to take decisive action against illegal pirate taxis or mushikashika and buses which are not licenced or authorised to carry passengers from one point to another.

“Therefore, no pirate taxis or buses with no permits will be allowed to pass through police checkpoints and roadblocks.”

The police , Comm Gen Matanga, said, would be closely monitoring and enforcing speed limits for public transport vehicles.

“The public service vehicles speed limiting technology which is at Harare Central will be effectively monitored to account for all speeding bus drivers who are openly exceeding the stipulated speed limits in line with Statutory Instrument 118/2023.

“May I take this opportunity to urge other bus operators who are yet to join or implement the speed limit mechanism to do so for the effective maintenance of law and order in the country and the safety of travellers.”

Comm Gen Matanga was referring to the measures taken to have all buses fitted with tracking devices that allow the monitoring officers, based at Harare Central, to see immediately when a bus starts speeding.

He also pleaded with the members of the public to minimise night travelling during the Easter holidays to prevent accidents

“Police will impound all unroadworthy vehicles and arrest anyone found driving under the influence of alcohol.

“As Christian worshippers gather at various centres throughout the country to commemorate the Easter holidays, I discourage them from night travelling to minimise road traffic accidents. Church leaders should ensure that the form of transport used by congregations is suitable and secure without compromising road safety.”

Parents and guardians should be vigilant in monitoring their children for signs of drug and substance abuse.

“As schoolchildren undertake social activities during this holiday, parents should guide and properly monitor them to curb cases of drug and substance abuse. Police officers will patrol both residential, industrial and shopping centres to ensure drug peddlers are brought to book.

“My office has also directed officers commanding police provinces to ensure that liquor outlets fully comply with the provisions of the Liquor Act. In this, all unlicenced liquor outlets, including shebeens, will be closed while the operators will be arrested for the law to take its course.”

People should not carry or keep large sums of money at home or business premises to reduce robbery risks. 

“In fact, business people or families should only keep small amounts for specific transactions and bank the rest with financial institutions. Companies are reminded not to share information on financial transactions or status with each and every employee. This will assist to curtail the leak of information to criminals.

“Above all, the motoring public is urged to plan journeys and assist in the maintenance of law and order in the country by complying with all road rules and regulations. Drivers should cooperate with police officers on police checkpoints and patrols to promote road safety for the public.”

Comm Gen Matanga issued a strong warning to all police officers tempted towards corruption and encouraged members of the public to report any incidents of corruption, stressing that such behavior will not be tolerated.

“My office will also take stern action on corrupt elements on the country’s roads as reiterated by the Honourable Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage on March 27, 2024. 

“I have directed police commanders to effect arrests on those who offer and receive bribes on the roads and in the process put the safety of passengers at risk.

“In this regard, the public should feel free to report any criminal activities at any nearest police station or contact the National Complaints Desk number (024) 2703631 or WhatsApp number, 0712 800 197.”

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