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Masvingo’s pirate taxis back on the road as police face trouble identifying accident victims

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  • Police in one of the country's oldest towns have been accused of letting the notorious taxis through their roadblocks yet there is a nationwide ban on intercity travel. The pirate taxis, comprising mainly Toyota Wish station wagons, are banned and the operators must be arrested on sight.

By Nompumelelo Sibanda

BARELY two days after one of their fellow drivers died in an accident which claimed 19 others, the pirate taxis of the Masvingo-Zvishavane highway are back on the road and carrying passengers. The taxis serve passengers travelling from Masvingo to Gweru, Zvishavane, Mvuma, Gutu, Chiredzi and other surrounding towns and growth points.

“Illegal pirate taxis locally known as Zvipipipi are still transporting passengers despite a government ban. Masvingo residents say government must increase Zupco buses or allow other private players to operate,” said Hevoi FM, a Masvingo-based community radio, on Wednesday morning.

Police in one of the country’s oldest towns have been accused of letting the notorious taxis through their roadblocks yet there is a nationwide ban on intercity travel. The pirate taxis, comprising mainly Toyota Wish station wagons, are banned and the operators must be arrested on sight.

Meanwhile, Hevoi FM further said the identification of the Monday accident victims is being slowed down by the absence of identification particulars of some of the victims. Police have urged the public to always carry their ID’s for ease of identification in the event of triuble.

“Police say lack of identification documents on the victims of Masvingo –Zvishavane road disaster is slowing the identification process of victims of the accident. Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi says that people should always carry their IDs,” said the radio.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Felix Mhona has mourned the accident victims. “We are deeply saddened by this accident that claimed the lives of 21 people along the Masvingo-Zvishavane highway yesterday. Our heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost their beloved ones in this tragic accident.”

President Mnangagwa also mourned the victims in a statement released by his office yesterday.

The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe has also consoled the families of the deceased. “The Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe joins the entire nation in consoling the relatives and friends of the 20 people who perished on the Masvingo – Mbalabala road on Monday 05 July 2021. May their souls rest in peace.” – Zimbabwe Voice

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