Police launch another blitz on touts

HARARE - Police have nabbed over 50 touts in Harare city centre who will appear in court today.

This comes after rank marshals and touts who had been removed from bus ranks last year begin to resurface.

Provincial spokesperson Tadious Chibanda said due to the “noise and inconvenience” caused by touts, law enforcement agents will no longer allow the touts to pay admission of guilt fines.

“We think that they are getting used to our fines. It is time we try other means to bring normalcy in the city centre. People have complained enough about these people hence we are not going to relax until sanity prevails. This time we are taking them straight to court,” Chibanda said.

Last year, over 500 touts were rounded up by police and over 300 of them received jail sentences.

A joint operation between Harare City Council and the police called Nguva Yakwana saw touts and rank marshals being swept out of the city centre, before they resurfaced this year.

“They are back because we had relaxed in our Operation. We thought council was going to take action but they failed. The commuting public should not be harassed by these people. It is the duty of the police to protect them,” Chibanda said.

Meanwhile, the holiday death toll has now reached 230, six days before the official end of the festive season.

National police spokesperson Andrew Phiri said the number of road accidents from December 15 to yesterday morning stands at 1 532.

He said police in Bulawayo have arrested the driver of a bus that was involved in an accident which killed eight people.

“Thembelihle Dube (the driver) is being charged with culpable homicide,” Phiri said. - Xolisani Ncube

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