120 pirate kombis impounded, 30 touts arrested

Police in Bulawayo have impounded 120 vehicles and arrested 30 touts under a new operation code-named ‘No to non-Zupco kombis’ to clamp down on commuter omnibuses operating illegally.

The new operation is in conjunction with the Bulawayo City Council (BCC), Criminal Investigation Department (CID), ZRP Support Unit, Crime Prevention Unit, and Vehicle Inspectorate Department (VID).

The impounded vehicles included private vehicles, commuter omnibuses and buses which took advantage of the public transport crisis and removal of police roadblocks to resume operations.

Speaking during a press conference at Rose Camp, Bulawayo Police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube said the easing of lockdown regulation has seen an influx of pirates Kombis in the Central Business Centre (CBD).

“The relaxation of Covid-19 regulation saw a number of Kombis or an increase of illegal Kombis, illegal operators, mshikashika getting into our CBD as a result, Zimbabwe Republic Police Bulawayo Province in conjunction with all our Departments have embarked on an operation code-named ‘No to none ZUPCO kombis, no to mshikashika, no to windi, no to the illegal operations,” said Inspector Ncube.

“This operation which started yesterday has seen a total of 120 motor vehicles, buses, Kombis and private vehicles being impounded and a total of 30 touts being detained and are supposed to appear in court”.

The police spokesperson added that “We still insist and maintain that those Kombis that are arrested will take along with them the kombi owners, we are not only charging the driver but the owners are also involved too for allowing their motor vehicle to be used illegally”.

Meanwhile, Inspector Ncube said touts were now mobilising unemployed youths to attack police officers.

“Touts are mobilising some unemployed youth to engage in ruthless operations and attacking police officers, we have an incident where some police officers were attacked at Mzilikazi, Makokoba area and another one where our motor vehicle was hit by a stone at Herbert Chitepo and 4th Avenue, that will never be tolerated,” he said.

“We have also realised that those touts were becoming rowdy and with a view of attacking police officers”.

He said the new operation is part of the efforts to bring sanity to the CBD.

“We are appealing to our people of Bulawayo to say peace be unto you and we are never going to fold our arms watching people neglecting and violating the law as they wish,” vowed Inspector Ncube.

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