The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has warned non Zupco franchised kombi operators who are defying COVID-19 regulations and government directives.
In a statement, national Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said kombi operators were not practicing social distancing as well as wearing facemasks.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police is warning kombi operators not to cramp people in their kombis as witnessed this morning in some parts of Harare and Bulawayo. Drivers are not putting on facemasks, not practicing social distancing and putting four passengers at the front seat. The police will take stern measures against such offenders,” said Ass. Comm. Nyathi
He said only kombis contracted to the Zupco franchise were allowed to operate and warned members of the public not to cry foul when the law takes its course.
“Above all, only kombis contracted to the ZUPCO franchise are allowed to ferry passengers. The public should not cry foul when the law takes its course. All kombis without proper windscreens and panes, which have placed cardboard boxes will be impounded. Police officers have been directed to take action accordingly. Let us all take heed of this warning.”
Private kombis were barred from operating following the rise in COVID-19 cases in the country however there has been an influx of private commuter omnibus operators in Harare and Bulawayo since the Government’s relaxation of the COVID-19 regulations.
The Government insists that only those who are registered to operate under the Zupco franchise are eligible to ferry passengers. This is despite a huge shortage in the transport sector as members are left stranded during peak hours.
The police has been in full force to curb the illegal kombi operators however, their efforts are in vain as the kombi drivers evade arrest by breaking road rules thereby risking passenger lives.