Police in Bulawayo have deployed more officers, some from the Support Unit, to the city’s western suburbs to deal with pirate kombi and taxis who have since Thursday been blocking some roads.
The public transporters were protesting the requirement for them to join the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) franchise in order for them to be allowed to operate.
Some roads leading to western suburbs were blocked by kombis and pirate taxis on Friday morning and the crews were forcing commuters out of ZUPCO buses, leaving hundreds stranded.
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Bulawayo provincial spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said some touts had been arrested but could not say how many. He said:
We have got help from the ZRP Support Unit which usually assists us in times like these.
Many touts have been arrested since the crackdown but I do not have the actual figure yet. They have been arrested and are at different police stations across the city.
We are also carrying out investigations on the messages circulating on social media.
The touts have been inviting each other to do chaotic malicious activities that disturb peace and sanity in the city.
The government decreed that all public transporters should be registered under ZUPCO as a measure of restoring order in urban areas.
Police have since the beginning of the lockdown been impounding kombis and taxis operating illegally.
However, this has failed to push private kombis off the roads as they are more flexible and charge lower fares compared to ZUPCO kombis.