Zimbabwe News

677 rank marshals and 1 570 mushika-shika arrested

Police have arrested more than 677 rank marshals and 1 570 mushikashika drivers countrywide in an operation aimed at bringing sanity to the public transport system.

Rank marshals are individuals who operate at commuter omnibus ranks (bus terminuses) in cities, towns, and busy centres across the country and are notorious for illegally collecting money from transport operators.

Mushikashika refers to unregistered pirate taxis and kombis that dangerously pick up and drop off passengers anywhere and anyhow, causing traffic congestion and safety concerns.

Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) spokesperson Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the crackdown against touts and mushikashika in an interview with The Herald on Tuesday. He said:

We have launched a countrywide operation targeting touts and mushikashika. As of yesterday (Monday), we have so far arrested 677 touts countrywide and 1 570 mushikashika. The operation is continuing until there is sanity.

Commissioner Nyathi said some of the touts arrested would be fined while repeat offenders would be sent to court.

More than 40 touts, as well as bus operator Isau Mupfumi, were arrested at the weekend over the violent clashes between touts at Mutare ranks.

Mupfumi was granted US$1 000 bail by Mutare provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe, while 49 rank marshals who were arrested over the same violent incidents, were all denied bail.

Comm Nyathi confirmed that they had received reports from transport operators about bogus police officers who were demanding a “security fee” so that they (bus operators) would not be arrested. He said:

We have received reports about some people who are claiming to be police officers and are approaching transport operators claiming various amounts of money so that they will not be arrested over the public violence case that occurred in Mutare.

He said in one of the cases, the criminals demanded about US$300 cash from a Harare-based operator, who had since made a report to the police.

Comm. Nyathi warned the criminals that the long arm of the law would catch up with them and urged transport operators to report such cases to the police.

Back to top button