Police blitz nets 118 touts in city
By Victor Maphosa
One-hundred-and-eighteen touts who were last week arrested in Harare for public nuisance under police’s ongoing “Operation No To Touts” were convicted and fined between $300 and $500.
The blitz is part of police’s efforts to restore sanity in Harare’s central business district (CBD).
Police are targeting touts who are illegally operating at city ranks and other undesignated pick up and drop off points around Harare.
Those arrested for touting were referred to court where they were sentenced to 20 or 30 days imprisonment or to pay fines ranging from $300 to $500.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the arrests and urged commuters to always use designated pick up points.
“A total of 118 touts were arrested around Harare and were referred to court where they were sentenced to between 20 to 30 days of imprisonment or to pay fines ranging from $300 to $500,” he said.
“Commuters are urged to use designated pick up points in the interest of their own safety. We also urge commuter omnibus operators to allow passengers to board any transport of their choice without hassles and disturbances.
“We will continue to monitor the situation in the central business district (CBD) to ensure there is sanity. We will not allow this issue of touting to proliferate,” Asst Comm Nyathi said.
He said the blitz complements another operation aimed at decongesting the CBD and targeted at vendors, money changers among other criminal activities in and around the city.
Code-named “Operation Restore Sanity” and launched in December last year, the blitz was triggered by reports of abuse of women at places such as the former Ximex Mall area, commuter omnibus ranks, at Road port and Copacabana.
The operation also seeks to de-congest the CBD.
As of January this year, the operation nabbed about 803 forex dealers and 660 touts.
Also a total of 950 mushikashika including kombi operators which were either loading and dropping passengers at undesignated places or not following other road rules and regulations were arrested.
Most of those arrested were made to pay fines.
During the launch, then acting police spokesperson Asst Insp Dzvova said the operation targeting pirate taxis, illegal forex dealers and touts among other offenders, would continue until order was restored. The Herald