Nearly 200 passengers were arrested on Tuesday and fined $2 000 for boarding buses that are not registered with Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO).
By the time of closing business, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) had impounded more than 20 buses, arrested 179 passengers for boarding illegal buses, and other Mushikashika vehicles.
Mbare police station impounded 16 buses while Harare Central had 13 buses.
Provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza confirmed the arrest urging commuters to use ZUPCO registered buses saying the operation was necessitated by an increase in robbery and rape cases involving illegal transport. Inspector Mwana said:
Police are urging people to use ZUPCO registered buses only to avoid being arrested.
The move by police to arrest passengers was necessitated by an increase in robbery and rape cases involving these illegal transport operators.
We want to warn motorists and bus operators who are disregarding government directives that police will not tire until they bring all culprits to book.
Among the buses impounded were those found ferrying people from one City to the other taking advantage of the green light given to legal operators to ferry school children.
Police discovered that some operators ferried passengers from one City to the other who were not school children.
All local school children are urged to use ZUPCO registered buses and omnibuses only and police will be visible in all street corners and roads to monitor safe movement of legal transport operators.
A number of commuters have been injured as illegal transport operators evade arrest while some are forced to disembark before reaching their destinations.
Private-owned commuter omnibuses (kombis) and buses were in 2020 banned from roads following the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Authorities have invited private kombi and bus operators to register with ZUPCO if they want to return on the roads.
Some have registered but some refused citing the “unsustainability” of the deal.