By Tafadzwa Gumunyu
As of September 22, 2023, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has reported a staggering 34,123 arrests during their ongoing “Tame the Traffic Jungle” operation.
ZRP spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, conveyed this information via their official social media X account, formerly Twitter.
“The ZRP reports that a total of 34 123 arrests have been effected during the on-going operation, “Tame the Traffic Jungle”. 1 006 arrests have been made on vehicles without route permits while 12 291 arrests have been made on illegal pirate taxis (mushika-shika). 333 motorists have been arrested for reckless driving, while 2 298 people have been arrested for touting. Meanwhile, 891 vehicles have been impounded for moving on the roads with no registration plates,” said Assistant Commissioner Nyathi
The operation, initiated on September 12, 2023, aimed to curb the rampant flouting of traffic regulations, especially in major urban centers and towns.
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi had previously highlighted that violations such as driving against traffic, running red lights, and reckless lane changes contributed significantly to the chaos and congestion on Zimbabwean roads.
Nonetheless, commuters and other stakeholders stressed that traffic woes stem from broader issues like inadequate infrastructure, poor traffic management, inefficient public transportation, limited parking facilities, and rapid urbanization.
These factors drive heightened reliance on private vehicles, overburdened road networks, and traffic disruptions.
Consequently, they contend that tackling “mushika-shika” and touting alone will not fully address the nation’s transportation challenges and a holistic approach should encompass infrastructure development, improved public transit, regulatory reforms, economic stability, and job creation.