BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Seven of the 13 Chivhu men who were last week arrested for touting have been sentenced to five months in prison, while the other six were fined $100.
The seven, who appeared before a Chivhu magistrate on Monday, will, however, serve an effective three-month jail term each, after two months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
The incarceration follows a police blitz in Mashonaland East province to remove touts from ranks.
Provincial police spokesperson Inspector Tendai Mwanza yesterday said more touts will be rounded up as they move to bring sanity at commuter ranks in all towns and growth points in the province.
“ZRP Mashonaland East is on an overdrive to rid the province of any lawlessness. Recently, touts in Chivhu were arrested after frequent reports of harassment and theft against citizens at ranks. This prompted the police to embark on an operation targeting ranks and those operating the illegal Mushikashika.
“We applaud the judicial system for the stiffer penalties, because this will go a long way in bringing sanity to the bus ranks. We urge members of the public, who may fall victim to such rowdy behaviour, to report to police so that those behind the act are brought to book,” Mwanza said.
The jailed touts were arrested at the weekend, while the other six who were fined were arrested on March 12.
Touting is prevalent in most towns and cities in the country, with most perpetrators oblivious that it is a crime chargeable under criminal nuisance.