HARARE – Members of the public say unregistered public transport vehicles and illegal taxis commonly known as mushikashika are causing traffic congestion and should be removed as a matter of urgency.
There has been an increase in the number of mushikashika vehicles which pick up and drop passengers at undesignated points causing traffic congestion on main roads during peak hours.
Mushikashika is illegal and the operators are always engaged in running battles with police in the city centre and this has resulted in serious accidents.
A survey by The Herald on Monday, 20 March revealed that along Leopold Takawira Street, behind Queen Elizabeth School, there were operators ferrying people to Westgate, Marlborough, Greencroft, Avondale, Chinhoyi, Karoi and even Kariba.
Westgate roundabout was inundated with mushikashika vehicles in the form of Toyota Vitz, Toyota Wish,Toyota Noah, blocking traffic.
Other undesignated pick-up points in the city centre included the intersection of Joseph Msika Street and Robert Mugabe Road, corner Sam Nujoma Street and Leonid Brezhnev Avenue, among other roads.
Pauline Sunganoyemoyo, said things had normalised when the government banned kombies and established the ZUPCO monopoly in 2020. Said Sunganoyemoyo:
Things were getting back to normal when all public transport operators were ordered to operate under the ZUPCO franchise.
Mushikashika was low, but when the transport system was liberalised, mushikashika including kombis resurfaced and now they are a menace in the city centre.
Another citizen, Freddy Dhliwayo, urged the police to eradicate mushikashika from the country’s roads. He said:
The mushikashika operators are causing a lot of trouble in the city centre. Recently, a woman was nearly run over by a vehicle that was escaping from the police.
We want the police to act and remove all those operating in undesignated areas.