Operation Siirai Mabhazi nets 25 000 ‘pirates’

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Police have arrested at least 25 362 pirate taxi drivers and impounded 4 518 pirate taxis nationwide through their ongoing Operation Siirai Mabhazi (Leave It To Buses)aimed at weeding out illegal taxis from the country’s roads.

The operation, which began on August 21, is targeting pirate taxis and other vehicles that operate as public transporters without licences.
The police said the targeted vehicles were not insured to carry passengers.

National Traffic police spokesperson Inspector Tigere Chigome said another
33 966 drivers were arrested for overloading.

Chigome said most of the arrested drivers had paid admission of guilt fines and released.

“Statistics show that since the start of the operation, most of the drivers were fined and released while the impounded vehicles were at various police stations,” said Chigome.

“We are not going to stop this operation. It is ongoing until we weed out all the pirate taxis which have become a menace on our roads.”

He added: “We expect our police officers to carry on with the operation to bringing sanity on the roads and we also encourage the public to board the right transport at the right time, otherwise they risk being dropped anywhere.

“We are insisting on motorists to check their tyres because most accidents have been as a result of tyre bursts.”

Chigome identified makes such as Toyota Ipsum, Gaia, Chariot, Noah, Nissan Serena and Elgrand as some of the vehicles mostly used on the long-
distance routes as pirate taxis.

According to Chigome, some of the impounded vehicles were inspected by the Vehicle Inspection Department and issued with RT16 forms (discontinuation forms).

It means if they operate illegally again the owners will be taken to court.