Kombi operators cry foul

HARARE - Dozens of kombi and taxi operators are crying foul over the delay by police to release their impounded vehicles even after they have paid fines.

But national police spokesperson senior assistant commissioner Charity Charamba said police were still vetting the vehicles.

“Police do not just impound vehicles for no reason,” Charamba told the Daily News yesterday.

“Clearing an impounded vehicle is a process. The cars need to be checked by Vehicle Inspection Department (VID), Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), permit authorities and other stakeholders for other offences. So these kombi owners should not complain, after all they committed a crime.”

Police and the Harare City Council have been clamping down on kombi and pirate taxis in Harare’s Central Business District following a sharp increase in hit-and-run cases.

Since January, over 100 vehicles have been impounded and sent to Chikurubi Police Support Unit Camp.

Some of the kombi operators said even after paying $20 admission of guilt fines, police are yet to release the vehicles.

Instead, they have been told to criss-cross the city canvassing stamps from various commuter regulating authorities to authentic that their vehicles are roadworthy.

But even with the stamped forms, police have not flinched, the operators said.

This has left the helpless operators incurring a daily storage charge of $5.

“If it’s an issue of fundraising for the birthday of the president, they should come out in the open and tell us, because this is not right,” fumed Gift Macheyi, who said his Toyota Hiace was impounded on Monday for traffic violations.

Rudolf Nyati, another Toyota Hiace owner impounded last week for parking at an undesignated spot, said “I have done all the processes required but everything has been in vain.”

Another kombi operator, Tod Kusena, who said his vehicle was impounded last week Tuesday for dangerous parking, felt the police actions were unfair.

“Having paid $20 fine, we were told to approach Harare City Council, Zimra, Zimbabwe Nationals Road Administration and VID so that they stamp our papers, proving that our cars have no other offences.

“But we are still stuck because the Police DisPol (officer commanding district) is now refusing to sign,” Kusena said.

Kombi driver Godfrey Katsande claimed the police were punishing operators because a policeman was recently run over by a kombi.

Comments (5)

THE PLAIN TRUTH IS THAT THE LONGER THEY KEEP THEVEHICLES THE MORE THE OPERATORS PAY. ITS NO SECRET THAT THE RULE OF LAW DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY GOVERNMENT OFFICE IN ZIMBABWE THEY DO WHAT THEY WANT AND NOONE QUESTIONS WE ARE SLAVES IN OUR OWEN COUNTRY ONE WOULD REALLY WONDER WHETHER THE SMITH REGIME WAS NOT BETTER

TREY - 25 February 2016

This is another case where it is extremeley difficult totake sides unless one is either a police officer or a combi owner. As neither of the above, i think the two parties are equally at fault with the police being in a better position to defend their actions as they a law enforcement agents. these touts are a real menace in the city, very unruly to both police, passangers and the general public. they harrass with profane language! i happened to pass through the 4th street bus terminus one day and there was a foul smell of urine from these touts. the cars were packed rather than parked,one combi just behind theother and there was not an inch for people to nevigate their way through the terminuses. they force you to get into a combi just to fill those metal cases on tyres and bfoken glass where people must fit in any number not less than 4 per row. on the other side, the police play cat & mouse with the touts in order to extort money from the vagrants rather than dealing s=with them decisively. If police had a real problem with touts and road vagrants, they should have dealt with them once and for all. because of corruption they police extort money and release the vagrants to golook for more. I am told that someof the police also own thos moving shacks hats why they are reluctant to unleash their full wrath on offenders. combis and police are twin evils of zim roads.

SaManyika Chaiye - 25 February 2016

That's hogwash for charity charamba to say "after all they have committed a crime." So why does one have to pay a fine when the so called authorities are still vetting your case?

Robert Mangwiro - 25 February 2016

Instead of Charity Charamba to think in business terms, she is pouring her venomous, rubbish to the wheels of economy. Those Kombis are contributing to the dying economy big time. Now someone like Charity, promoted to her post while in bed with Chihuri cutting off the last vein keeping the damaged economy going is sic.Cry the Beloved country.

Ziziharinanyanga - 26 February 2016

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