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Touts terrorise commuters

Local News
File pic

TOUTS in Harare have become a menace, harassing commuters at bus ranks, forcing the police to launch an operation to stop their activities.

NewsDay Weekender yesterday witnessed a family being harassed by touts at the Mbare Musika bus terminus.

“They are forcing us to get onto a bus that was not going to our destination. We refused, but they didn’t listen and ganged up on me and my wife. They tried to snatch the bag that I was carrying. Luckily, they were stopped by other people that witnessed the melee,” Tinashe Makina told NewsDay Weekender.

Last Matara, a commuter, said: “We are appealing to touts not to force us onto buses against our will. We already know where we are going, there is no need to physically abuse us.”

Passengers Association of Zimbabwe acting national spokesperson Andrew Chibanda said harassment of passengers by touts was of concern during the festive season.

“It has been happening for quite some time at most ranks. Passengers are harassed and forced to board buses they don’t want by touts. These touts even go to the extent of stealing. Such conduct is criminal and unconstitutional. We call upon law enforcement agents to act,” he said.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the law enforcement agents had launched an operation targeting touts.

“We embarked on an operation where we are arresting touts daily. This is on record. Some of them are appearing before the courts,” he said.

“We had meetings with transporters and we have said they must not employ touts, and have urged them to co-operate with police as we try to get rid of these touts from various centres in the country.”

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