Over 6 000 kombis and pirate taxis have been impounded countrywide for violating Covid-19 regulations, as police reiterated that inter-city travel remained banned unless the traveller has exceptional circumstances that allow exemption.
At the inception of the Covid-19 lockdown in March, Government suspended inter-city travel and banned all long-distance buses to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
Only commercial vehicles ferrying and distributing goods were permitted to travel from one city to another, and beyond borders.
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi on Friday warned anyone breaching the inter-city travel rules would be arrested and vehicles found transporting people would be impounded.
“People should take note that the country is still under national lockdown and as such, inter-city movements remain banned, he said. We reiterate that we don’t expect any unnecessary movements and that people should abide by the laws.
“People should put their safety and health first and should also assist in the maintenance of law and order.
“We also don’t expect any increase in the volumes of traffic on the roads.”
Recently, Government announced a curfew running from 6pm to 6am, during which time no movements are allowed except for essential service providers, as a way of containing the spread of Covid-19.
Asst Comm Nyathi said they received information that some pirate taxis and kombi owners were operating at night, putting themselves and passengers at risk.
Such operators risk being arrested, along with any members of the security teams that could be conniving with truckers and kombi operators in the ferrying of people illegally.
Covid-19 Inter-Ministerial Taskforce spokesperson Minister Monica Mutsvangwa recently called for behaviour change among Zimbabweans and reminded the nation that Covid-19 was real.
“People should not just wait to be seen by a police officer to wear a mask, she said. People should not get into trucks where you know there is no social distance, no hygiene and when you actually know you should not be travelling.”
Apart from the more than 6 000 kombis and pirate taxis commonly known as mushikashika, impounded for carrying paying passengers in defiance of the lockdown regulations, 87 truck drivers have also been arrested for carrying passengers.
Only Zupco buses are allowed to move passengers.
Police have also arrested 694 people for smuggling and border jumping, while 302 returnees have escaped from quarantine and isolation centres countrywide.-herald.cl.zw