Pirate taxis ‘mshika-shika’ menace

By ZBC Reporter

Pirate taxis commonly known as mshika-shika continue to cause chaos on the streets of Harare in direct violation of COVID-19 regulations.

The rules of engagement under Covid-19 dictate that ZUPCO and other contracted public transport operators accommodate a stipulated number of passengers with strict adherence to safety guidelines that include sanitisation and regular disinfection.

However, the situation on the ground is the complete opposite with pirate taxis, unregistered commuter omnibuses and buses blatantly violating the regulations on a daily basis.

Some of the vehicles have no registration plates, raising safety concerns for passengers in the wake of increasing robbery cases.

With the country under level four lockdown, intercity travel has been banned yet pirate taxis and non-ZUPCO buses continue ferrying people from one city to the other.

Zimbabwe Republic Police National Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they have since launched an operation against the illegal pirate taxis

The police is having an operation against these pirate taxis. A total of 10 994 pirate taxis have been impounded since January. With regard to intercity travelling. The government has said anyone who is carrying passengers without the necessary papers is committing a crime so if we come across any bus or kombi plying the intercity route it’s impounded and the driver arrested. We are urging people not to board these pirate taxis,said Nyathi.

Besides violating COVID-19 regulations, the pirate taxis are also violating city by-laws by operating from undesignated pick up and drop off points.