Chi-town council petitioned over mushika-shika

HARARE - A Chitungwiza woman Eunice Makumbe has asked the municipality to intervene and deal with pirate taxi operators, whom she is accusing of disturbing her business.

Through her lawyer Charles Chikore, Makumbe wrote to the Chitungwiza town clerk on May 10, calling for the municipality’s intervention, failure of which she threatened to approach the courts for recourse.

“We refer to the above matter (mushika-shika) and particularly our client (Ms) Eunice Makumbe the user, owner and or beneficiary of shop number 1 Makumbe Building, Makoni Shopping Centre, Chitungwiza.

“Our client is a licensed operator of the above shop and duly pays council levies as per the law.

“In terms of the laws of the land, she should be entitled to unhindered and free use and occupation of her shop since she pays council rates.

“Furthermore, the laws relating to servitude entitles her to benefit from her veranda and the front part of the shop to enable her clients to freely enter and come out of the shop without interference.

“The problem that our client has faced time and again is that of ‘mushika-shika operators’ who have camped or decided to create a parking or terminus’ or who have created (unilaterally without your approval) a picking and dropping zone or area in front of her shop thereby blocking, hindering and affecting the smooth flow of clients to and from her shop.

“These people have ‘infested’ or ranked there making a lot of noise and shouting obscenities. We believe these are yet to be legalised and surely they can’t take precedence over our client who is duly and legally a licensed shop operator,” Makumbe said through her lawyers.

In Zimbabwe, government has been struggling to rein in the pirate taxi operators. Previous operations involving the council and police officers have failed to yield any meaningful results.

Several people have lost their lives after being run over by taxis evading arrest from police, a situation that has courted public criticism.

But analysts have suggested that cities and towns must work together with the police, the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration, Vehicle Inspection Department and Central Vehicle Registry and the central registry to develop a universal system that can be used to track down motor vehicles that would have been found on the wrong side of the law as most of the drivers always evade the police.

Through this integrated system, the police can be able to track down cars that would have evaded arrest during chases.

“Furthermore, assuming they have been allowed to operate, surely that can’t be in front of our client’s shop and more so on a zone or area marked ‘parking bay’ and not terminus or a ‘non-parking point’.

“These surely should be accommodated somewhere, if so.

“We, beseech your high office to intervene urgently since you are the custodians and office responsible for ensuring sanity in our roads and around shopping centres.

“As a result of the above, we felt it prudent to seek your help before taking this matter further to court,” her lawyers said.

According to Makumbe’s lawyer, Chikore, the council had not yet responded to the letter.

“Makoni Shopping Centre is now an eyesore, as these pirate taxi operators are blocking roads and parking everywhere.

“They also pull passers-by, disturbing business in shops, yet if you go to other small towns like Kwekwe, Rusape or even Gweru, you don’t see that, because they are strict.

“Women are now scared of walking or shopping close to where they are parked for fear of being harassed or sexually abused or having their items stolen,” Chikore added.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.