Mpofu warns kombi operators, drivers

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Zanu PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu

TRANSPORT and Infrastructure Development minister Obert Mpofu yesterday fired warning shots to errant commuter omnibus operators and their crews, saying sterner measures will be employed on them if they continue to disregard road regulations and become conduits for road carnage.

EVERSON MUSHAVA
CHIEF REPORTER

In a speech read on his behalf by his deputy, Petronella Kagonye, at a road safety awareness campaign organised by the Zimbabwe Traffic Safety Council (ZTSC), Mpofu said both the kombi operators and their “unsuitable” drivers would face the full wrath of the law.

“I want to sound a strong warning that these errant kombi owners have their days numbered,” Mpofu said.

“The law shall never hesitate to take its course. Both the driver and the kombi operators found on the wrong side of the law shall be prosecuted accordingly. I want to urge our courts to complement our efforts by imposing deterrent sentences against transgressors in order to remind them of the sanctity nature of life.”

The awareness march was to express solidarity with the 10 bereaved families and injured victims of a horror crash that occurred near Chinhamo Service Station along the Harare-Chitungwiza Highway on May 19.

Mpofu said the accident was caused by negligence and was “100%” avoidable. Investigations have revealed that the kombi was not roadworthy, the driver inexperienced and without a defensive driving licence as stipulated in Statutory Instrument 168 of 1986.

Mpofu also urged the commuting public to report to the police any illegal behaviour by kombi crews, saying silence could be a “loud silent killer”.

Globally, road deaths and injuries have become a major public health problem with a broad range of social and economic consequences. Figures availed by the ZTSC yesterday showed that 546 had died in Zimbabwe alone and 4 733 injured in 1 2954 accidents nationwide in the first quarter of the 2014.

About 2 094 were killed in 2012 while 1 787 died in 2013.

The police and kombi crews have been engaged in cat-and-mouse games, with the commuting public blaming corruption within the police force as the major contributing factor to road carnage.

Speaking on the sidelines of the awareness campaign, Kagonye said the country’s accident rate would be drastically reduced after the full implementation of the National Transport Policy that the ministry was concluding, which among other things, would also see the decongestion of Harare.

She said kombis would be phased out gradually while the ministry would also embark on a nationwide rehabilitation of roads within the next two years, in order to eliminate the causes of carnage.

Urban Commuter Operators of Zimbabwe president Simbarashe Ngarande said the organisation was working towards formalisation of the public transportation industry, create a database and train kombi crews public relations and good road behaviour.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Ko why is the whole press not reporting on the fatal accident that happened in norton on sunday and killed more than eleven pple including a centenarian granny and her daughter.

    • Mr Obert Mpofu can you stop Muzamani and Butho Gadzi who are harrasing motorist in Sauerstown

      • Muzamani and Butho Gadzi thy block private vehicles but whn thr is a rod block their Kombis run away from them can relavant traffic police not Drill hall investigate coz Sauerstown Kombi drivers thy dnt have lincenses and are putting people lifes in danger

    • maybe its one of theirs n mustnt be published. like the Chirombo kombies are being driven by drunkereds. they go thru all roadblocks into n out of harare to as far as gweru no police touch them.

  2. south Africa is much more developed than Zim,they cant phase out taxis.its part of employment. what is the government planning to do with all the the unemployed drivers and conductors.they must make it easy and quick for operators. to obtain documents like route authority and operaters licences cut out corruption in their offices

  3. Kukura munu akakura njere zvinorasikawo madara akura ngagare mumaprazi awo. Anogara achinda mu South Africa munemotikari zvakawandisisi makombi ariti mabhuzi atawurwe migwagwa migwagwa gayigadzirwe vaMpofu maproblem ema accindents anopera

  4. All these threats will not work . Either way they still die so there is no better option. Dying in prison or dying of hunger is one and the same thing. The unemployment rate is very high yet the same Ministry charge exorbitant prices for defensive, and medical certificates. The same Ministry charge exorbitant prices for retest, Operator’s licence, road permit yet they don’t protect those who would have gone through all these documentation processes . Police declare on roadblocks that they want their share regardless of these factors. The Government does not even care about its citizens but pretend to care and want to implement policies that benefit them.

  5. Every transport minister has warned them, but the warning have remained just that. Warnings. Police have done the same, but kombi crews fell they are above the law, and they are justified to feel so. We the ordinary motorists do sometimes get arrested for traffic offences and we are taken to police station. That is where you see, one by one, kombi crews are freed without paying fines. They phone the owners of the vehicles who happen to be senior public officials, and the poor arresting officer is then ordered to release the crew. We the ordinary ones do pay our fines, whilst the kombis crews laugh all the way back to the road to commit more offences. So Mpofu should not try to impress us with his warnings. We know what is happening mumugwagwa umu.

  6. Minister munongoramba muchiita ma warnings zuva ne zuva, y ma warnings is because you have no alternative transport for commuters, Ivo ve ma kombi vanozviziva ndosaka vachiramba vachityora mutemo. If you had an alternative honorable minister you would not be threatening these guys vangadai vasisiri pa road zvachose. These guys are driving under the influence of the likes of bronco, mbanje you name it and you are aware of this but there is nothing that you can do because you have no alternative hamuna ma buses to replace makombi aya. Kana zviri zve makombi nyararai henyu Minister vanhu vangofa zvavo, y are u still warning them ne vanhu vafa so far, chingovadzingai zve pa road pacho after all the kombi drivers dont even read the newspapers anonyorwa speach yenyu iyoyi, saka you jus wasting time, idyai mari munyerere

  7. with all do respect mr minister that wont be fair because we are earning a living out of that,the list u should ev done was to remove road unworthy vehicles and keep dzese dzasara dziri in order.south africa haisati yambodaro kune this new busing company inonnzi my citi people they have an option to choose what they want to use in terms of transport,u will make families suffer coz pane vamwe vari kurarama nekuda kwemacombie iwaya.imba,mhuri dziri kuvakwa kubudikidza nemacombie and remember its another way of job creation so think of it minister and our roads as well kudai mapaonawo ipapo.thank u very much hope magona kuonawo zviri pamoyo pangu

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