Govt moves to restore sanity on Harare roads

Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti

GOVERNMENT has announced new measures to bring sanity on Harare roads following a public outcry over traffic jams and reckless driving in the capital.

In a statement, Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution secretary Tafadzwa Muguti said government ministries, departments and agencies involved in road administration and traffic law enforcement met on Wednesday to deliberate on the measures.

“All commuter omnibus operators to get a valid rank permit that will allow them to operate from their designated bus ranks and within operational times. The City of Harare will publish the designated official bus termini in the city.

“A digital database of all commuter omnibus operators is to be implemented as part of the local authority digital system. This will include digital payments, collections of fines and fees while the Zimbabwe Republic Police shall utilise the system to verify the road worthiness of vehicles, outstanding warrants on drivers, outstanding tickets and any other listed offences of drivers,” Muguti said.

Government said it would impound vehicles deemed unroadworthy, while drivers found guilty of reckless driving will be prosecuted.

“All unlicensed and unroadworthy vehicles to be impounded and compliance protocols to be enforced at operator’s cost. This includes those operating with yellow plates and (mushikashika),” the statement added.

Mushikashikas are unlicensed private operators offering the public transport from street corners.

They are often engaged in cat and mouse chases with traffic law enforcement agents.

“All drivers guilty of reckless and dangerous driving are to be arrested on the spot and taken to court within the statutory 48 hours. This includes those driving on oncoming traffic [lanes], driving on pavements and those who deliberately create additional lanes by encroaching cycle tracks and pedestrian walkways.

“All vehicles which have fitted extra lighting that is not permitted by the law shall have their vehicles impounded. These include those who have installed blue, red, green or yellow security and emergency reserved lights illegally on their vehicles,” the statement added. 

According to the statement, police and municipal police have been deployed at major intersections and at other busy junctions which have no traffic lights to control traffic.

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