By Whinsley Masara
Police in Bulawayo have impounded 81 vehicles without registration number plates in a blitz launched on Tuesday amid reports that unregistered cars are linked to serious crimes in the city.
Police working with the Vehicle Inspection Department and the Bulawayo City Council, are targeting unregistered vehicles, unlicensed drivers and those driving cars without number plates under an operation code named “tornado.”
The Officer Commanding Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Senior Assistant Commissioner Steven Mutamba yesterday said 81 vehicles were impounded on Tuesday and Wednesday under the ongoing operation.
He also said people found boarding kombis at undesignated places will be arrested.
“Police in Bulawayo are worried about lawlessness exhibited by most motorists and commuters in the city and would like to issue a stern warning to both commuters and drivers to desist from unruly behaviour which has resulted in anarchy.
“On Thursday operators of mshikashika had altercations with registered kombi drivers in the Hillside area, where three suspects deflated three tyres of a kombi before police were called and arrested them,” Snr Asst Comm Mutamba said.
He urged owners of motor vehicles, their drivers and members of the public to observe the laws of the country and respect lives.
“We can’t fold hands and watch motorists do as they please, putting people’s lives in danger. As police, we advise all members of the public who would want to drive into and around Bulawayo to make sure their vehicles comply with requirements of the Road Traffic Act to avoid inconveniences as police will not hesitate to arrest and impound any vehicle found without registration plates.
“All unregistered vehicles and those without registration plates will be impounded, drivers arrested before undergoing rigorous inspections that may seriously inconvenience the owners,” said Snr Asst Comm Mutamba.
He urged people to report to the police any known person with a habit of driving without a licence or who drives while drinking so that they may be intercepted before lives are lost.
Snr Asst Comm Mutamba said police have noted with regret that Honda Fit and similar types of vehicles used to pirate, are linked to robberies, unlawful entry and theft cases.
“All drivers are also urged to cooperate and comply with police orders at roadblocks and desist from the habit of speeding off at times against one way.
“Police roadblocks are there for the safety of the motoring public hence everyone is called upon to cooperate with the police who are doing their duties in a people centred approach to avoid unnecessary delays and loss of lives and business,” he said. The Chronicle