Local Government minister July Moyo has authorised councils to control movement of commuter omnibuses in their areas of jurisdiction and to enforce traffic regulations.
In a statement yesterday, Moyo said this followed the lifting of a ban on commuter omnibus operations after the repeal of section 4(2)(a) of Statutory Instrument (SI) 83 of 202 Public Health (National Lockdown) that was enacted as a COVID-19 preventive measure.
“All local authorities are to recommend route authority and issue rank discs for applicants operating on urban routes in their areas of jurisdiction, enforce traffic regulations and by-laws with the support of law enforcement agents. This includes removal of touts, picking and dropping points off passengers at undesignated points and addressing challenges of obstruction of traffic,” he said.
“Omnibus operators are advised to approach their respective authorities for the processing of their applications with immediate effect.”
Councils, residents associations and transport operators welcomed the development.
“No touts will control ranks after our membership obtain discs. There won’t be interference from touts anymore,” Greater Harare Association of Commuter Omnibus Operators secretary-general Ngoni Katsvairo said.
Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors president Frederick Maguramhinga said: “We can’t have a scenario where every kombi goes wherever the driver wants.
“We are going to have inspectors that will work with the council.”
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Passengers Association of Zimbabwe spokesperson Andrew Chibanda said touts had become a menace.
“The issue of touts is a thorn in the flesh as they claim to own ranks and control how the commuting public should be charged in relation to prevailing situations,” he said.
Kariba mayor George Masendu said: “It’s a good move that brings sanity, but the challenge is on enforcement.”