BY STAFF REPORTER
Government has warned sprouting public transport operators against flouting traffic rules and to desist from interfering with politics.
This comes as some commuter omnibuses in Harare and other parts of the country carry stickers inscribed ‘Mahwindi for ED’.
Transport operators in Harare said that they will join the “movement” (Mahwindi 4ED) to protect their business.
Speaking at a Development Control meeting in Chitungwiza recently, Harare Metropolitan Province secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Tafadzwa Muguti said the province was seized with addressing the issue of smooth traffic flow.
“I have been receiving so many letters and phone calls saying we are this and that transport operator. When it was said that you’re going to be licensed as associations, the government was trying to bring a sense of accountability in the transport sector,” he said.Muguti
“It’s not a cooperative, political animal or activism group. It’s a business association. You’re not different from the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI).”warned Muguti
Muguti told transport operators that the law didn’t change.
“So to have a sticker GHACO (Greater Harare Association of Commuter Omnibus Operators) or UTAZ (Urban Transport Association of Zimbabwe) doesn’t give you the right to drive against oncoming traffic. Forming an association doesn’t mean that you will be given your own rank. So stop applying for ranks,” he said.Muguti
“The law didn’t change. It spells very clearly that one should board a bus at the bus stop or terminus. There is no animal called tout in the legislation.”Muguti
The Zimbabwe Union of Drivers and Conductors (ZUDAC) president Frederick Maguramhinga said Muguti was very correct.
“Muguti is 100 per cent correct. An association will not allow kombis which aren’t roadworthy or kombis to be driven by an unlicensed driver. If we see a driver under ZUDAC driving against one way we summon him because being in an association isn’t a passport to break the law,” he said.said Maguramhinga
“Of late we didn’t have many associations in Harare. We can’t interfere if they’re registered. But associations should have a clear mandate, code of conduct, clear vision and disciplinary measures. It’s not about money but about the safety of passengers and abiding by the law.”added Maguramhinga
Maguramhinga said ZUDAC doesn’t interfere in politics but respects national days like the Heroes Day.
GHACO secretary general Greater Harare Association of Commuter Omnibus Operators (GHACO) secretary general Ngoni Katsvairo said: “We gave operators a grace period to update their papers from May and we only brand kombis of members who comply with all our requirements. Associations must lead by example and stop putting stickers on kombis with yellow plates or on those without adequate public service vehicle papers.”
On politics Katsvairo said: “We have touts in ranks masquerading and dropping party names to intimidate and extort money from our crew and in the process tarnishing the parties’ image.”Ngoni Katsvairo