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Opposition malcontents biggest threat to mushika-shika blitz operation claim Police

Police launch unprovoked attack on opposition

HARARE – Police on Monday blasted the opposition as having malcontent elements who posed the biggest threat to law enforcement agency’s full-scale joint operation targeting uninsured, unregistered motor vehicles and errant passenger carrying vehicles.

The joint blitz involving Vehicle Theft Squad, Central Vehicle Registration, Zimbabwe National Road Administration, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Vehicle Inspection Department and Police is aimed at cleaning and restoring sanity “in greater Harare, through arresting of touts, mushika-shika operators, street car washers and car repairers operating at undesignated places.”

Police say their teams on the ground will also impound vehicles violating traffic by-laws and involved in committing robberies and other related cases.

However, it was their unprovoked attack at the opposition while remaining silent on ruling party officials who abuse the Zanu PF paraphernalia to break road regulations, which left a sour taste of party/state conflation.

In a memo announcing the blitz, Officer Commanding Police Harare South District, Chief Superintendent, M Majojo, said the opposition presented a public order threat to the blitz.

“The general security situation in the district is relatively stable; however, opposition malcontents may take advantage of the situation and cause political instability in the District during the operation,” Majojo said in a memo.

“Anti-Government pressure groups are likely to engage in violent demonstrations against the operation in support of transport operators’ defiance and cause chaos citing transport challenges.”

Police said most vehicles plying the country’s roads are either not registered or the vehicle owners deliberately remove number plates to avoid identification.

The unregistered and plateless vehicles are being used to commit serious crimes such as armed robbery, theft from motor vehicle, smash and grab, hit and run, among others.

“Drivers of such motor vehicles cause chaos on the roads. In most cases they drive against one way and against red robots. Pursuing such motor vehicles may result in accidents, and Police are blamed by the public,” Majojo said.

“It is difficult for law enforcement agencies to identify owners of unregistered vehicles after committing such crimes as they are not on the Central Vehicle Registry database.

“New owners of motor vehicles are not changing ownership from the database to reflect the new vehicle owner. The nation is losing much needed revenue for road rehabilitation through evasion of vehicle licensing payment.

“A lot of decommissioned motor vehicles are being unlawfully driven on the country’s roads. A lot of Public Service Vehicles are unroadworthy and do not have legal documents such as passenger insurance, route authority and certificate of fitness.”

During the blitz each of the joint stakeholders stakeholder “will apply appropriate sanction on identified issues or aspects for example City Council will charge storage, VID will check for defects and issue forms RT16, VTS for vehicle theft while Central Vehicle Registry shall check for check for compliance with regards to vehicle registration and ascertain licences for fake copies.”