. . . defiance of regulations rampant
Arron Nyamayaro, H-Metro Reporter
Illegal public transporters seem to pose the greatest risk in the fight against a pending third wave of Covid-19 as they are defying government and WHO measures.
Instead of five passengers Mushikashika vehicles like Honda fit and Wish vehicles are loading up to 12 people with zero social distancing and usually closed windows on account of the cold weather.
This is posing a health risk that can easily see the Harare Covid-19 cases surge.
Harare and Chitungwiza seem to be losing battles of ending mushikashika with the cars used for pirating increasing in number by each day.
Some double-cab trucks have joined some kombis not registered with Zupco, Honda Fit, Toyota Wish and Fun Cargo vehicles in illegally transporting commuters in defiance of Covid-19 regulations and in most cases operating under the noses of law enforcing agents.
Mushikashika cars have been causing congestion in major roads leading out of Harare as they pick and drop commuters in the middle of the road.
Touts are also back in town helping to load mushikashika vehicles.
Some commuters spotted yesterday were packed at the back of the trucks risking their lives to Covid-19.
“Kupinda kumberi 70 bond kumashure 50 bond yako kupinda mutown,” one tout was heard touting.
Some commuters complained of being dropped away from the central business district.
“Transport is now a major challenge and we have no option other than turning to these twin-cabs; some of the drivers are good at reasoning with police officers to pass through the police check points,” said one of the passengers.
“Mishikashika midiki iyi tanzwa nekudzikisirwa munzira tabhadhara mari saka pakaipa,” added the passenger.
In a statement yesterday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi urged people to put their safety and health first and avoid boarding mushikashika and pirate taxis for the smooth maintenance of law and order in the country.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police advises the public that the enforcement of the Government’s revised Covid-19 lockdown measures on health and security as announced on Saturday will be done without fear or favour,” said Ass-Comm Nyathi.
“The public should take note that the police will ensure that all gatherings except funerals are banned and compliance is strictly adhered to.
“Mourners are implored to stick to the stipulated figure of 30 people and observe all Covid-19 protocols.
“Patrols, blitz and monitoring will be done by police to ensure that beerhalls, bars, night clubs remain closed.
“Bottle store owners should strictly observe the given operational time of 1000 hours to 16000 hours.
“In this regard, all those found drinking beer at bottle stores, inside vehicles and surrounding areas will be arrested.
“Restaurants and fast food outlets should observe the law and ensure that they only serve take-aways as pronounced by the Government.
“Only hotels and lodges are allowed to serve resident customers in their bars and restaurants till 2200hours every day.
“Police officers will also ensure that the wearing of face masks, social distancing and sanitizing is conducted in all public places.
“Police will ensure that the curfew order previously issued by the Government is complied with.
“The curfew order runs from 2200 hours to 0530 hours the next day,” said Ass-Comm Nyathi.