The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has announced that 80 pirating taxis were impounded for violating COVID-19 regulations in Bulawayo.
This comes barely two weeks after police in Bulawayo impounded 127 vehicles that were also pirating in defiance of the Government regulations.
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The development was confirmed by Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube who said the impounded vehicles included commuter omnibuses (Kombis), Honda Fit and pirate buses. Ncube said:
Police in Bulawayo have impounded 80 vehicles which include 60 pirate kombis, four pirate Honda Fit cars, four pirate buses, two unregistered vehicles and ten cars for violating road laws. These vehicles were banned from ferrying passengers locally or plying the intercity routes.
Since March when Zimbabwe recorded its first coronavirus case, the government banned all vehicles save for ZUPCO buses and Kombis from ferrying passengers as a measure to stop the spread of the virus.
The government seems reluctant to authorise the return of kombis and private taxis even at a time when demand for public transport has risen as the government is slowly reopening the economy.
The Ministry of Local Authority and Public Works ordered owners of privately-owned kombis to register with ZUPCO saying the move was meant to restore order in the public transport sector.
A number of privately-owned kombis have in the recent past been pirating some routes taking advantage of the shortage of ZUPCO buses and kombis.